So much for the Phillies trading Placido Polanco.
Philadelphia has placed the third baseman on the disabled list with lower back inflammation and he won’t be eligible to return until a week after the July 31 trade deadline.
Of course, finding a taker for the 36-year-old would have been tough even if Polanco were healthy, as he’s hit just .255 with a .628 OPS in 82 games this season, wasn’t much better last season, and is owed about $3 million for the remainder of this year with a $1 million buyout on his $5.5 million option for 2014.
Ty Wigginton figures to be the primary fill-in at third base, which is a big downgrade defensively and not much of an upgrade offensively considering he’s 34 years old and hitting .234 with a .678 OPS in 86 games.
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.