A lot of teams are asking about Fausto Carmona

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Now that the Cliff Lee shoe has dropped, everyone is looking at cheaper, less-already-signed-by-other-teams-this-winter  pitchers.  Jon Paul Morosi reports that one of the more sought-after of that breed is the Indians’ Fausto Carmona:

One major-league source with close knowledge of Carmona’s market said the Indians aren’t eager to move him but are in a “listen and explore” mode because of the heavy interest following the Cliff Lee signing.

Carmona had that monster 2007 and then spent two years in the woods.  It was a nice quiet bounce back season last year, however, in that he reduced his walks and allowed fewer homers than he had in previous seasons.

Still, I have a hard time seeing Cleveland giving up Carmona given that he has a pretty team-friendly contract (he’s owed $6.1 million next year and has team options for $7 million, $9 million and $12 million in 2012-14).  It’s probably too much to expect that he’ll return to 2007 form, but even if he just builds on what he did last season in a modest fashion, he’s pretty valuable and is worth having around for at least the next three years, and maybe even that third option year.

But yeah: I totally see why he would be sought-after by someone looking for starting pitching.

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.