The Rockies tried to get Jorge De La Rosa signed to an extension late this season, but that’s apparently not going to happen now and the team is resigned to the fact that he’s going to hit the market. They’re not sweating it, though:
“When players get this close to free agency, unless they are completely overwhelmed with an offer, they really want to see what the market will bear. That’s part of the process,” Rockies general manager Dan O’Dowd said. “We continue to have a strong desire to bring him back. The conversations have been great.”
It’s got to be a great year to be a free agent pitcher given how thin the market is. I mean, as a fallback option after De La Rosa, the Denver Post story mentions Jake Westbrook — who most are assuming will stay in St. Louis — and Javier Vazquez. If you’re De La Rosa’s agent, I bet your negotiation is pretty easy: “Here is what we want. If that’s not acceptable to you, here is Javier Vazquez’s phone number. Good luck with that.”
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.