As expected the Rangers and general manager Jon Daniels have agreed to a contract extension, with Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reporting that the deal will run through the 2015 season. Daniels was already signed for this season, so the new contract is a four-year deal.
Texas has a 411-399 (.507) record since Daniels took over as GM in 2006–compared to a 384-426 (.474) mark in the five seasons before he got the job–and under Daniels the Rangers have improved their record in each of the past three seasons while advancing to the playoffs for the first time since 1999 and making the World Series for the first time in franchise history.
The extension obviously puts to rest any notion that Daniels was in hot water regarding the ongoing Michael Young drama. Ron Washington, who was hired by Daniels in 2007, signed a two-year contract shortly after the World Series to keep him as the Rangers’ manager through at least 2012.
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.