During the midst of the Frank McCourt mess, there were rumblings that Andre Ethier would look to join his friend Dustin Pedroia in Boston when he became a free agent after this season.
A lot has changed with the first-place Dodgers (who won their sixth straight game on Tuesday night) since then, and Ethier apparently isn’t in any hurry to go anywhere. My how things change.
Ethier told Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday that he was not going to set a deadline on contract talks with the Dodgers, even as the season progresses and free agency draws near.
“We’ll take a look at whatever they bring to us,” Ethier said. “I don’t look at it any other way. I’m not going to sit here and play what-ifs and what-nots.”
Ethier said the team has yet to make a formal offer, but Shaikin reports that Dodgers GM Ned Colletti has already discussed the idea of re-signing Ethier with team president Stan Kasten.
Ethier is hitting .314 with nine home runs and a .950 OPS so far this season. The right fielder is a two-time All-Star and won a Gold Glove in 2012.
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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.