I already vented spleen about the Marlins sale. Some have responded to me saying that I’m overstating this, and it’s not THAT big of a sale. So it’s probably worth noting that in addition to a starting pitcher, their would-be star third baseman and their starting second baseman, they’re talking about dealing their ace as well. Bob Nightengale reports:
The Marlins also have starter Josh Johnson on the trade block, and the Texas Rangers are one of the teams actively pursuing him, a Marlins executive told USA TODAY Sports, with the Rangers informing the Marlins they would be willing to part with third-base prospect Mike Olt.
The Rangers certainly need the rotation help, and Johnson would provide a boost as long as he stayed healthy. Olt is 23 years-old, currently tearing up the Texas League. He has a strong arm and a lot of power at third, but is blocked by Adrian Beltre. With Hanley Ramirez gone from Miami now, he’d be destined to take over third base for the Marlins.
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.