The announced attendance for tonight’s Braves-Phillies game at Citizens Bank Park was 41,665, falling short of a sellout for the first time since July 6, 2009. And with that, the Phillies’ sellout streak ends at 257 games. Given the Phillies’ current place in the standings and the recent trades of Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence, it was only a matter of time.
Via Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer, here’s a statement from Phillies president David Montgomery.
“The number of sellouts could not have been possible without the tremendous loyalty of our fans who continue to lead all of Major League Baseball in average attendance this year.”
The sellout streak is the longest in National League history and third-longest in MLB history. The Indians sold out 445 straight games from 1995-2001 while the Red Sox have a current streak of 772 sellouts at Fenway Park.
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.