This is kind of neat.
Back in January we learned that the Cubs had made it to the 21st century by forming a partnership with Bloomberg Sports to design a new player-evaluation system. Very statty for the historically non-statty Cubs.
Tonight CSNChicago.com will live stream a thing — they’re calling it a “chalk talk” — in which Cubs’ assistant GM Shiraz Rehman and Bloomberg will show off some of the technology in question, talking about player evaluation and analytics and stuff. Cubs fans will be excused if they do spit takes when high-ranking Cubs officials say things about players other than “he’s a ballplayer; looks like a ballplayer, ya know?”
It streams at 8PM Eastern at this link at CSNChicago.com.
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.