As soon as Mitch Moreland injured his hamstring Tuesday the Rangers were pretty convinced he’d need a disabled list stint. That became official today and the team announced that he’s expected to miss 4-6 weeks.
Obviously the Rangers’ lineup is deep enough to withstand the loss–Moreland has been hitting near the bottom of the batting order for his entire career, after all-but he’d been very productive hitting .272 with 10 homers and an .838 OPS in 55 games.
Michael Young will see more time at first base, opening up designated hitter for Mike Napoli if the Rangers choose to give Yorvit Torrealba more starts behind the plate.
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.