The Yankees have signed supplemental first-round pick Dante Bichette Jr., according to Marc Carig of the Newark Star-Ledger. He receives a signing bonus of $750,000 and will join the GCL Yankees when their season begins Monday.
Bichette, 18, was selected 51st overall in this month’s First-Year Player Draft. The Yankees received the pick as compensation after Javier Vazquez signed with the Marlins during the offseason. It was their highest selection in the draft.
Highly regarded for his power potential from the right side of the plate, Baseball America ranked Bichette as the 108th best player in this year’s draft class. Though he was drafted as a third baseman, many expect he will eventually end up in the outfield.
You never know with a guy this young, but at least Bichette has the bloodlines in his favor. His father Dante had a .299 batting average, 1,906 hits and 274 home runs over 14 major league seasons between the Rockies, Angels, Red Sox, Brewers and Reds.
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.