If you pay attention at all to the MLB Amateur Draft, you’re probably familiar with pitcher Barret Loux.
The 6-foot-5 righty from Texas A&M was selected sixth overall in June 2010 by the Diamondbacks but went unsigned after a physical revealed a labrum tear in his shoulder and multiple issues with his elbow.
He spent the rest of the summer getting healthy, then landed a free agent contract — with a $312,000 signing bonus — from the Rangers in November.
And now the Rangers have traded him to the Cubs, according to MLB.com beat writer Carrie Muskat, along with a player to be named later. Going to Texas in return is Jacob Brigham, a 24-year-old right-hander who began his career in the Rangers’ system. He was traded to Chicago this July for catcher Geovany Soto.
Loux, 23, has a 3.62 ERA, 1.28 WHIP and 227 strikeouts in 236 career minor league innings. He posted a 3.47 ERA, 1.27 WHIP and 100/41 K/BB ratio across 127 frames this past season at Double-A Frisco.
Jason Parks of Baseball Prospectus says Loux projects as a “back of the rotation” starter.
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.