Adam Dunn took Royals reliever Tim Collins deep in the eighth inning Saturday for his 400th career home run.
He also reclaimed the major league lead with his 35th homer of the year after Josh Hamilton caught him at 34 Wednesday.
Dunn became just the eighth player to hit 400 homers in his first 12 seasons in the majors, joining Albert Pujols, Ken Griffey Jr., Alex Rodriguez, Eddie Mathews, Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle and Frank Robinson. He has the 14th most homers through age 32, and he figures to pass both Juan Gonzalez and Willie Mays on that list before the season ends.
Of course, given his low batting average and his lack of defensive value, Dunn has quite a ways to go before he’ll be worthy of any Hall of Fame consideration. Still, his bounce-back season has at least put him back on the map as far as that is concerned. With so many factors working against him, he’ll probably have to get to 600 homers in his career in order to have a shot.
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.