White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko told Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago on Sunday that he will undergo surgery in the offseason to remove a “floating bone fragment” from his left hand.
“It is something I need to take care of,” said the veteran. “I don’t feel it has impacted anything I’ve done this year. It is just time to get it out of the way.”
Konerko has posted a cool .297/.369/.483 batting line with 25 home runs and 72 RBI in 142 games this season. The recovery range for the surgery is four to six weeks, so he should be fine by the spring.
The 36-year-old is under contract with the Pale Hose in 2013 for a salary of $13.5 million.
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.