From Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch comes word that the Cardinals are “actively shopping” right-hander Kyle McClellan in an effort to free up payroll for a run at a free agent starter.
Like, well, Roy Oswalt.
McClellan, a 27-year-old native of the north St. Louis suburbs, registered a 4.19 ERA, 1.31 WHIP and 76/43 K/BB ratio across 141 2/3 innings last season for the Cardinals, operating as both a starter and reliever. He’s owed a $2.5 million salary this season as a second-year arbitration-eligible player.
Strauss is hearing from sources that the Orioles have emerged as “one of the most promising trade partners.”
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.