There’s a flu bug going around the Cubs clubhouse and the latest victim is Matt Garza, with manager Dale Sveum saying this morning that the right-hander is “iffy” to make his scheduled Sunday start.
Garza was originally supposed to start today before being pushed back in the rotation and Dave Van Dyck of the Chicago Tribune reports that the Cubs have “summoned” Travis Wood from Triple-A to be on call in case Garza can’t pitch against the Dodgers.
Wood was acquired from the Reds in the Sean Marshall trade and has an ugly 5.18 ERA in five starts at Triple-A, but that comes along with a strong 30/8 K/BB ratio in 28 innings and the 25-year-old southpaw has a 4.18 ERA in 209 career innings as a big leaguer.
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.