Taylor Buchholz’s season ended in early June due to a combination of shoulder fatigue and depression, and agent David Pasti told Adam Rubin of ESPN New York that the right-hander plans to sit out the entire 2012 season.
Pasti described Buchholz as “feeling great, but not ready to get back into baseball” as he continues to deal with depression and anxiety.
Pasti also praised the manner in which the Mets dealt with Buchholz, saying if/when he does decide to continue playing they’d be his first choice. New York could have held onto Buchholz’s rights while he sat out, but instead allowed him to become a free agent at age 30 and with another season of arbitration eligibility still to come.
Buchholz has a 4.28 ERA in 311 career innings, including a 3.12 ERA and 26/7 K/BB ratio in 26 innings last season. He opened about dealing with depression in a very compelling interview last July, which is definitely worth reading.
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.