Damaso Marte underwent surgery Friday to repair the labrum in his left shoulder, according to Chad Jennings of the Journal News. Marte was concerned that the surgery could spell the end of his career, but told reporters on Sunday that doctors expect him to begin throwing after the All-Star break in 2011.
“I have to make (the shoulder) better because it’s a lot of pain,” Marte said. “Right now I feel comfortable because the doctor, he gave me a good idea for my arm. He told me, you’re getting better. Next year, I think I can pitch.”
Marte, who originally came over from the Pirates in Xavier Nady trade in 2008, signed a three-year, $12 million deal with the Yankees prior to the 2009 season. He played a significant role in the team’s World Series run last season, but injuries have limited him to just 31 regular season innings and a 6.39 ERA since signing the contract. The Yankees still owe him $4 million in 2011 and either a $250,000 buyout or $4 million option in 2012.
The Twins have reportedly signed free agent shortstop Erick Aybar to a minor-league deal, LaVelle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune reported Friday. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman adds that the deal comes with a potential $1.25 million if Aybar reaches the majors, with additional incentives based on plate appearances. He’ll be able to opt out on March 27. The team has yet to confirm the signing.
Aybar, 34, is now four years removed from his career year in 2014. He’s been in a state of steady decline since then, slashing just .234/.300/.348 with seven home runs and 11 stolen bases over 370 plate appearances for the Padres in 2017. His poor performance wasn’t helped by a fractured left foot, either, which cost him almost six weeks on the disabled list.
Still, the Twins see something promising in the veteran infielder, and reportedly intend to use him as another utility option this spring. Per Neal, Aybar will join fellow backup infielders Eduardo Escobar and Ehire Adrianza and may even (temporarily) take over for Miguel Sano at third base if Sano isn’t able to shape up for the role by Opening Day.