UPDATE: Despite what Nikkan Sports is reporting, many are now saying that there is no deal in place between Ichiro and the Yankees. Joel Sherman just went so far as to say that a deal has not yet been seriously discussed.
So, yeah, stand by for further updates.
9:20 AM: It’s “sign old guys day” in the Bronx. First was Andy Pettitte and now it’s Ichiro:
It felt weird to see Ichiro in anything but a Seattle Mariners’ uniform, but he took to Yankee pinstripes quite nicely after last season’s trade, hitting .322 with five home runs and a .794 OPS after coming over from the Mariners in July.
Ichiro is a mere three months younger than your creaky, grumpy and bald blogger here, but he still has game. Not the $17 million worth of game he was paid for in 2012, but at $5 million keeping him in New York makes a heck of a lot of sense.
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.