Brandon League blew his fourth save of the season on Friday night, allowing three runs in a 6-4 loss to the Angels. Today, he faced the consequences.
According to Larry Larue of the Tacoma News Tribune, Mariners skipper Eric Wedge announced Saturday afternoon that League has been demoted to a setup role. Save chances will be spread around to different members of the Seattle ‘pen going forward.
“We’ll match up with what we think works,” Wedge told reporters. “We’ve only got seven guys in the bullpen, and Hisashi Iwakuma is the long guy and League will work in other roles for now. Other than them, it could be anyone, depending upon the situation. It’s not ideal, but this is where we’re at. … We’re not going to name another closer.”
League has registered a 4.43 ERA, 13/12 K/BB ratio and 1.62 WHIP in 20 1/3 innings of relief this season. He’s scheduled to become a free agent five days after the conclusion of the 2012 World Series.
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.