Eric Wedge went 67-95 in his first season as Seattle’s manager, but the Mariners announced last night that he’ll be back in 2012 along with his entire coaching staff.
In a statement released to the media general manager Jack Zduriencik called them “a group of hard-working professionals.”
Greg Johns of MLB.com notes that this is the first offseason since 2001/2002 that the Mariners haven’t made at least one change on the coaching staff. That was Lou Piniella’s final season as manager and since then they’ve gone through eight different skippers.
Constant turnover hasn’t done the Mariners much good, but another 90-loss season next year would put Wedge and Zduriencik on the hot seat together.
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.