You know how Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo keeps trying to downplay his team’s interest in Prince Fielder? How he keeps saying Adam LaRoche is going to be the team’s first baseman next season? Yeah, this story isn’t going to help his cause.
As you may have heard, Fielder and his agent Scott Boras went on a brief tour of some MLB cities earlier this month to meet with team owners. Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun hears that while the Baltimore/Washington area was on the itinerary, they did not meet with Orioles’ owner Peter Angelos.
By some clever process of elimination, we can likely surmise that they did meet with someone from the Lerner family, who owns the Nationals. Of course, this might not mean a whole lot. I mean, shouldn’t Boras visit the team who gave big money to some of his clients, including Jayson Werth, Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper? These guys are old pals. But if Boras used his Jedi mind trick on the Rizzo and the Lerners again, look out.
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.