Mets fail to reach agreement with Hisanori Takahashi

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MLB recently granted an extension for the Mets to come to terms on a new contract with Hisanori Takahashi, but David Waldstein of the New York Times reported late this afternoon that the two sides were unable to reach a deal.

Takahashi just confirmed the report in a statement from his new agent Arn Tellem (via Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com).

“Unfortunately, the Mets and I were not able to reach an agreement prior to the expiration of our negotiating deadline,” Takahashi said in a statement released by his agent. “I am grateful to the Mets for the opportunity to start my Major League Baseball career with such a great franchise. I thoroughly enjoyed my time in New York City and want to thank all the Mets fans for their support. I am now looking forward to exploring my options as a free agent.

Because of a clause in Takahashi’s original contract with the club, the left-hander will be granted his release tomorrow. Per MLB rules, he is unable to re-sign with the Mets until May 15, which all but guarantees that he will end up elsewhere.

As Aaron wrote earlier today, Takahashi was hoping to land a three-year contract worth around $5 million per season, but the Mets were only willing to guarantee one year.

Report: Twins sign Erick Aybar to minor-league deal

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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.