UPDATE: As expected, Teahen and his $5.5 million contract passed through waivers unclaimed and today the Blue Jays released him. They’re on the hook for his entire salary.
Toronto needed to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for newly signed reliever Darren Oliver and did so by designating Mark Teahen for assignment.
Teahen went from the White Sox to the Blue Jays in the eight-player swap built around Colby Rasmus and Edwin Jackson in July, with Toronto agreeing to assume the $7 million or so left on his contract as part of the value received by Chicago.
He’s still owed $5.5 million this season and Teahen is coming off a career-worst year in which he hit .200 with a .573 OPS in 78 games, so it’s pretty safe to assume his contract will clear waivers.
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.