ESPN’s Jim Bowden reports that Alfonso Soriano has told the Cubs he will not accept a trade to the Giants.
The main Soriano rumors of late have placed him with Ryan Dempster in a possible deal to the Dodgers. The Giants are looking for outfield help with Gregor Blanco fading, but Soriano lacks the defensive range they prefer from their outfielders. They’ve been focused on Philadelphia’s Hunter Pence, according to reports.
Soriano has a full no-trade clause, so he can say no to any scenario he pleases. He’d probably prefer to go to a park that better suits his power stroke than AT&T.
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.