It’s not often that you hear a player booed in his home stadium while leaving the field with an injury.
But that just happened at Boston’s Fenway Park.
According to Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe, Red Sox right-hander Josh Beckett was removed in the third inning of his start Tuesday night against the Tigers after feeling discomfort in his lower back and was showered with boos from the home crowd despite allowing just one run on two walks and a hit.
Beckett was shopped by the Boston front office in recent weeks, but his expensive contract and inconsistent numbers kept anything from happening. Including Tuesday’s results, the 32-year-old has posted a 4.54 ERA, 1.27 WHIP and 84/31 K/BB ratio in 111 innings (18 starts) this season. He’s owed $15.75 million in 2013 and another $15.75 million in 2014.
The Red Sox entered play Tuesday with a 52-51 record, ranking fourth in the American League East.
UPDATE, 9:04 PM: Tim Britton of the Providence Journal says Beckett was diagnosed with back spasms.
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.