UPDATE II: Now Rosenthal is saying that the Rockies have claimed Rodriguez. If they and the Astros are to get a deal done, they have to do it by Thursday at noon.
UPDATE: Rosenthal reports that, contra Olney, it was not the Nationals who claimed Rodriguez. The team is still unknown. So we have it: MYSTERY TEAM!
3:02 PM: Ken Rosenthal reported a few minutes ago that Astros starter Wandy Rodriguez was claimed on waivers, but by whom it was unknown. Just as I was getting all excited to do a post about a “mystery team,” Buster Olney reported that it was probably the Washington Nationals claiming him.
The Nationals could certainly convince themselves that they’ll be in contention over the next couple of years, so it may very well convince them to take on Rodriguez and the $36 million he’s owed between now and 2014. The Astros, of course, aren’t just gonna let him go without getting something in return, one presumes, so it’s not just a matter of letting Rodriguez walk.
But unlike a lot of guys who are put on waivers, it’s not nuts to think that Rodriguez could be moved.
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.