Beer, fried chicken, and video games specifically got all the headlines, but various Red Sox players simply not being in peak physical condition was also an issue this season and today Boston fired strength and conditioning coach Dave Page along with assistant trainer Greg Barajas.
Rob Bradford of WEEI.com notes that Page was with the Red Sox since 1996 and won the Professional Baseball Strength Coach of the Year award in 2007, while Barajas joined the big-league staff in 2010 after many years in the minors.
Bradford reports that “the Red Sox plan on restructuring some of their approach toward the strength, conditioning, and medical side of the organization.”
When your job is “strength and conditioning coach” and the team’s conditioning is in serious question that makes getting fired something less than a shock, but the scapegoats in Boston are getting so plentiful that it’s tough to keep track at this point.
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.