We heard this morning that the Giants and Tim Lincecum were making “significant progress” in contract negotiations. Now we have some specifics.
According to Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports, the Giants offered Lincecum a two-year, $40 million contract while the ace right-hander’s reps countered at two years and $44 million. With such a small gap separating the two sides, the expectation is that they’ll be able to get a deal done without an arbitration hearing next month. A two-year deal would cover Lincecum’s remaining arbitration seasons and allow him to test free agency after 2013.
Lincecum, 27, earned $13 million last season in the second year of a two-year, $23 million deal. He requested $21.5 million and was offered by the Giants $17 million when arbitration figures were exchanged Tuesday. Both were record filings for a player with less than six years of service time.
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.