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.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Phillies signed pitcher Henderson Alvarez to a minor league deal. If he is added to the major league roster, he’ll earn $750,000 prorated.
Alvarez is still only 27 years old but hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2015 due to shoulder issues. He signed with the Long Island Ducks last month, making seven starts and posting a 3.94 ERA with a 13/14 K/BB ratio in 32 innings.
The Phillies learned that Vince Velasquez will undergo season-ending surgery and also placed Zach Eflin on the 10-day disabled list, so the club is just looking for pitching depth to help take them through the end of the season. Any innings that Alvarez is able to handle will be considered a bonus.
Mets third baseman David Wright will begin a minor league rehab assignment Tuesday with High-A St. Lucie. He’ll be the DH.
Wright has been sidelined since May of 2016, first with a cervical disc herniation and, more recently, a shoulder impingement. He has appeared in just 75 games since his last full season in 2014. Wright is under contract through 2020 and is owed $47 million after this year. For now insurance is picking up a large portion of that.
It’s possible he’ll make a return to the Mets before the season out as the competitive portion of their year is basically over and giving him a chance to see big league pitching before he begins what one hopes is a normal offseason might be a good confidence boost. What meaningful role he ever plays in the big leagues again, however, is decidedly up in the air.