With the Scott Sizemore acquisition giving the A’s more infielders than they can play at Triple-A Sacramento, Oakland sent Steve Tolleson to the Padres today for a player to be named.
Tolleson went unclaimed on waivers this spring despite a nice track record. The 27-year-old was hitting .274/.388/.394 with five homers and eight steals for Sacramento this season. He came in at .332/.412/.503 last year and also hit a respectable .286/.340/.408 in 49 major league at-bats for the A’s.
Tolleson’s problem is that he isn’t much of a shortstop. However, he has plenty of experience both there and second base and he’s also seen time at third and in the outfield this year. With his on-base skills, one would think he’d be a useful player on an NL team. The Padres will stick him in Triple-A for now, but they could soon have him replace another former A’s prospect in Eric Patterson.
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.