Pete Abraham has his Hall of Fame column up. It’s good, as usual.
This year he reconsidered his no-vote for Jeff Bagwell from last year, decided that not voting for him based on PED suspicion is “baseball McCarthyism” and cast his ballot for Bagwell. You may or may not agree with that (I do), but a person’s willingness to rethink past beliefs and change their mind is a damn admirable and damn rare trait. Good on ya, Pete Abe.
Apart from Bagwell he has Trammell, Raines and Larkin, which makes his ballot pretty fantastic in my view.
But that’s not why I’m linking it. I’m linking it for this comment about Jeromy Burnitz, who is also on the Hall of Fame ballot:
Burnitz would have fit in with the cast of “Jackass.” As a practical joke, he would empty out bottles of shampoo in the showers on road trips after the last game of the series and pee in them.
315 homers and an OPS+ of 111 is not good enough to get a corner outfielder into the Hall of Fame. But we have to give him a bit of a kicker for personality, don’t we?
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.