The Phillies called Domonic Brown up from the minors on Friday night, but it doesn’t sound like he’ll be postseason-bound.
To the contrary, a team source tells Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer that the Phillies plan to send Brown to the instructional league following the regular season.
Brown could still qualify for the postseason roster, but Gelb writes that the Phillies are more focused on him getting regular work in left field, where he’ll likely figure in next season with Raul Ibanez’s contract set to expire. There are no plans to have have play winter ball, so his season will be over when the instructional league schedule ends on October 15.
Brown, 24, is hitting .246/.335/.393 with five home runs, 19 RBI, three stolen bases and a .728 OPS over 209 plate appearances with the Phillies this season. He batted just .227 with one home run over 97 at-bats after being demoted to Triple-A Lehigh Valley following the acquisition of Hunter Pence.
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.