Ken Rosenthal tweets that the Cubs are willing to move Matt Garza.
This makes a lot of sense given how thin the free agent pitching market is. Garza had a 3.32 ERA and 197/63 K/BB ratio in 198 innings this year. He’s only a second-year arbitration-eligible player and he made just under $6 million last year. That will earn him a fairly large raise, but he won’t be overpaid by any stretch.
No one on the Cubs roster with the exception of Starlin Castro should be safe. Hoyer and Epstein should take offers on anyone they can.
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.