Just got an email from reader Chris Bell, relating a cool story about Rays infielder Elliot Johnson, bro:
Prior to the Rays game last night, I was with a few buddies tailgating in the parking lot. Out of the blue I posted a tweet to Elliot Johnson that I was in the lot, and to come out and play catch. He comes out into the lot, in full game gear minus the jersey (with a glove and a ball) and plays catch with us … after the game we were behind the dugout, Elliot spots us and tosses us a few game balls. What a great experience, Elliot couldn’t have been a nicer guy.
The video can be seen here. Very, very cool on the part of Johnson.
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.