Prior to the National League’s win last night Tony La Russa was asked if being back in the dugout had him thinking about possibly coming out of retirement, but his response to “is this a one-time thing?” left no doubt that he’s done managing:
Absolutely. I don’t believe that. I know that. I don’t think the commissioner is going to make this a yearly thing, where I’m going to manage the All-Star game. I think it’s one and out.
So if managing again isn’t an option, what is La Russa going to be doing with his time at age 67?
The commissioner’s keeping me busy. But someday, I’ll work in somebody’s [front] office, because I like winning and losing.
Well, mostly winning.
In the meantime he’s reportedly earning $2.5 million per year as a special advisor to Bud Selig, Joe Torre, and Major League Baseball, which isn’t a bad way to spend “retirement.”
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.