When it came down to it, the Rays cared more about postseason roster flexibility than any sort of moral stand.
Tampa Bay today called up infielder Sean Rodriguez from Triple-A Durham and placed him on the 15-day disabled list with the broken hand he sustained punching a locker after a Bulls game last week.
The reasoning for the move is obvious: the Rays can include Rodriguez on their preliminary postseason roster now and then replace him however they so choose should they reach the postseason.
But it’s a shame Rodriguez gets rewarded in the process. Since the move puts him back on Tampa Bay’s roster, he’ll resume collecting a major league salary that’s probably four or five times what he was earning in the minors and he’ll accrue service time while on the DL.
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.