We already know Jorge Posada isn’t returning to the Yankees, but he hasn’t dismissed the possibility of continuing his career elsewhere.
With that in mind, Javier Maymi of ESPNDeportes.com hears (link in Spanish) that the division-rival Rays are interested in the 40-year-old. Maymi confirmed the information with Posada’s father, who said he has also had some discussions with the Orioles and Phillies. However, he hasn’t decided whether he will play in 2012.
The Rays are looking at Posada as a possibility for first base, designated hitter and backup catcher. Jose Lobaton or Robinson Chirinos figure to be the primary backup for the newly-signed Jose Molina, so Posada would likely only be an emergency option behind the plate.
Posada batted .235/.315/.398 with 14 home runs, 44 RBI and a .714 OPS over 387 plate appearances this past season. He did have an .814 OPS (and all of his homers) against right-handed pitching, so he could still have some value if used appropriately.
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.