Rafael Soriano’s contract with the Yankees allows him to opt out after this season, but coming off a mediocre, injury marred campaign there’s little chance of that happening and Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York talked to a source who confirmed Soriano will be staying put.
Soriano followed a poor start with a disabled list stint for elbow problems, but was much more like his usual self upon returning with a 3.33 ERA and 26/7 K/BB ratio in 33 innings during the final two months.
However, the two years and $25 million remaining on his contract is significantly more than Soriano could get on the open market this offseason. He’ll earn $11 million in 2012 and $14 million in 2014 as part of a deal general manager Brian Cashman had pushed on him by ownership.
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.