Brandon Webb is being pursued by the Rangers, Cubs and maybe the Nationals. And, according to Jerry Crasnick, there’s “an unidentified NL Central team” interested as well.
You can’t fool me with your calm, precise and non-inflammatory rhetoric, Jerry. That’s a mystery team. Don’t worry, I’m a lawyer and I checked. You don’t have to pay Heyman royalties for using that term. Not yet anyway.
Who could it be? Tom Haudricort reports that it’s not the Brewers. Depending on how realistic Webb’s contract demands are, however, it could be any of the others. Even the Pirates, who would be wise to go after reclamation projects like Webb with an eye toward flipping him to a contender if he pans out in the first half. He’d be a fifth starter in St. Louis. He could conceivably break the Reds’ rotation if he’s healthy. The Astros could use all the help they can get.
All I know is that I’m not going to assume that the mystery team is baloney anymore. They have been proven to exist.
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.