It seems like forever ago, but Henry Rodriguez began this season as the Nationals’ closer.
And he’ll end it on the disabled list, as the team announced that Rodriguez had surgery to remove bone chips from his elbow and will be sidelined for at least three months.
Rodriguez has actually been on the DL since August 2 with a back injury and previously missed a month after slamming his finger in a door around midseason.
In between all the injuries he threw 29 innings with a 5.81 ERA and 31/22 K/BB ratio, showing the combination of high-90s velocity and incredibly shaky control that has been the story of his career.
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.