Actually, it’s a plan B, C, and D, I think. Jerry Crasnick says that if the Twins don’t get Jim Thome, they’ll either go after Troy Glaus, Jorge Cantu or just buy some bullpen depth.
Glaus wouldn’t bring what Thome brought to the table in terms of mashing right-handers — he’s a righty after all. Cantu can’t mash anyone, really, though he at least has a tad more defensive flexibility than Glaus does (i.e. it won’t be a national news story if he plays some third base like it was when Glaus did in the playoffs). This is all couched in a “coulds” and “mights,” though, so it’s not like they’re real targets.
Gleeman could speak about this way more intelligently than I could, but I’m getting the sense that Twins fans are kind of bummed by how this offseason has gone. If Cantu and Glaus become targets, I don’t think that perception changes.
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.