According to the Denver Post‘s Troy Renck, Rockies general manager Dan O’Dowd is looking to give his team an “attitude adjustment” this winter by bringing in a strong clubhouse presence. Or two.
Veteran utility infielder Jamey Carroll is thought to carry that type of aura, and is known to be on the Rockies’ short list of desired free agents.
Carroll hasn’t homered since the 2009 season and will turn 38 years of age before spring training next February, but he batted .290 with a respectable .359 on-base percentage in 2011 and the Rockies feel he would fit snugly into the No. 2 spot in their lineup.
Renck calls Carroll a “winning” and “unselfish” player, perfect to turn the tide in a young clubhouse. Whether that’s fluff or not, the Rockies’ front office might believe in it.
The 10-year MLB veteran played for Colorado from 2006-2007, batting .275/.357/.370 with seven home runs and 58 RBI in 802 total plate appearances. He could start at second or third base if signed again.
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.