This morning I made a joke about Willy Aybar signing with Edmonton in the independent leagues, saying that he was being sent to baseball Siberia. Well, if this report is true, baseball Siberia is way too good for him. Real Siberia is too good for him. Frankly, he can take a flying leap into the abyss for all I care:
Yesterday Willy Aybar signed with the Edmonton Capitals of the Independent North American League. We had been wondering why no Major League team would even give Aybar a minor league deal. Turns out it was because Aybar was sentenced to three months in prison in the Dominican Republic after he beat his wife. Aybar’s wife ended up in intensive care for an extended period of time, in critical condition.
That comes from Rays Index, which has a translation of a Dominican Republic news report from back in January. Rays Index infers from the article that Aybar just signed because he was only released from jail a few weeks ago and speculates that he was signed in Canada because he may have had trouble getting a visa to come to the United States given his record.
I don’t know how any of that works. All I know for sure is that I hope to never see Willie Aybar in the major leagues again.
The Diamondbacks have signed free agent left-hander Jorge De La Rosa to a minor league deal, per a team announcement on Sunday. The contract includes an invitation to spring training. Nick Piecoro of AZCentral.com adds that De La Rosa stands to make $2.25 million if he secures a spot on the major league roster, with up to $600,000 in incentives if he pitches out of the bullpen and up to $1 million in incentives if he pitches out of the starting rotation.
The 35-year-old is expected to compete for a bullpen role after spending the better part of a decade in the Rockies’ rotation. He capped a nine-year run with Colorado in 2016, finishing the year with a 5.51 ERA, 4.2 BB/9 and 7.3 SO/9 over 134 innings. Despite his struggles out of the rotation, he found limited success in a three-game stint in the bullpen, striking out 10 of 26 batters and holding the opposition to just three hits and one earned run in eight innings.
The veteran lefty is set to join a bullpen comprised of right-handers Randall Delgado, Jake Barrett and Fernando Rodney, along with a number of unproven candidates on similar minor league contracts. His age and command issues may be off-putting, but the promise he showed as a reliever should give the Diamondbacks some upside as they attempt to redeem a league-worst bullpen in 2017.
Blue Jays’ third baseman Josh Donaldson is expected to miss up to three weeks with a right calf strain, reports John Lott. Donaldson reportedly felt some discomfort in his calf during sprinting drills on Friday and was diagnosed with what looked like a mild strain after undergoing an MRI on Saturday. According to Lott, the 31-year-old is on crutches for the next few days and will likely miss 2-3 weeks of spring training.
Donaldson had a similar scare at the start of the 2016 season, when he limped out of the batter’s box during the Blue Jays’ first regular season road trip with a right calf strain. He returned to DH two days later, however, and was back on the field in less than a week’s time. Blue Jays’ GM Ross Atkins told MLB.com’s Corey Long that the two calf injuries are unrelated, and expects that Donaldson will recover in similar fashion this spring — well before Opening Day comes around.