The Angels still haven’t officially announced the move, but Mike Trout has joined the team and is on the field taking early batting practice. Mike DiGiovanna said earlier Friday that Vernon Wells could be placed on the DL to open up a roster spot.
If that’s the case, then Trout will probably play something close to full-time. If not, then Trout is more likely to start three or four games per week in place of Wells and Bobby Abreu.
Trout, widely viewed as the game’s No. 2 prospect behind Bryce Harper, hit .163/.213/.279 with one homer in 43 at-bats in his first taste of the majors last month. He just turned 20 earlier this month, and he hit an exceptional .326/.414/.544 with 11 homers and 33 steals for Double-A Arkansas this season.
Update: Horacio Ramirez was demoted to create room on the roster. The Angels have Wells in left field, Trout in right field and Torii Hunter at DH tonight.
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.