Day 3 of the draft is going on right now and the Orioles just used their 20th-round pick on Cal Ripken Jr.’s son, 6-foot-6 high school first baseman Ryan Ripken.
Baseball America didn’t have Ryan Ripken among their top 500 prospects for the draft, although in fairness more than 500 players had already been taken by the time the Orioles selected him.
Orioles blog Camden Depot notes that Ripken is committed to playing college ball at South Carolina if he opts not to sign, although presumably the team’s scouting department had a little inside information regarding his intentions.
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.