J.C. Romero has bounced around a ton over the past few seasons and his latest home is St. Louis, as the Cardinals have finalized a one-year deal with the left-handed reliever.
Romero’s terrible control and inability to consistently get right-handed batters out make him a poor fit in a setup role, but he remained death on left-handed batters even while struggling overall recently.
Over the past three years Romero held lefties to a .238 batting average and three homers in 147 at-bats, allowing a .658 OPS.
He’d have been a good fit for the matchup-obsessed Tony La Russa, but new manager Mike Matheny should be able to find some good spots for him as well.
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.