Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun says that the Orioles are interested in Joe Saunders.
That makes them one of several teams that, for reasons that aren’t clear to me, are apparently interested in Joe Saunders. I swear, starting pitchers in December and January are like homely people in the bar at closing time. They all seem so attractive now, but when the sun is up someone is gonna say “man, I signed Joe Saunders? Oof.”
Eh, I shouldn’t hate on Saunders. He had a 3.69 ERA and 1.31 WHIP and ate 212 innings this past season. That has its uses. It’s not so useful that the Dbacks didn’t non-tender him when faced with the prospect of paying him $9 million bucks or so in arbitration, but it isn’t nothing.
Seriously, though: Think he’ll do OK in the AL East, Mr. Duquette? Really?
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.