On Friday Mets reliever Frank Francisco called the Yankees “chickens” for some reason. Then, as a joke, reliever Tim Byrdak sent a clubhouse attendant to Chinatown to buy a live chicken and gave it to Francisco. It ran around the Mets clubhouse over the weekend, but now it is going to a better place. No, not a deep fryer, sadly:
The chicken will be heading to Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen, N.Y., according to a spokesperson for the sanctuary. Lefty reliever Tim Byrdak, who came up with the idea to purchase the chicken and didn’t want to see it killed, presented the chicken to Farm Sanctuary media relations specialist Meredith Turner on Sunday. The team also presented Farm Sanctuary with a $500 check to cover living costs for the chicken.
The $500 will also include costs for survivor’s guilt counseling for the bird.
By the way, the chicken was named “Little Jerry Seinfeld” after the cockfighting rooster Kramer buys in a late-series Seinfeld episode. That episode aired over 15 years ago, by the way, which should make you feel pretty old.
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.