Francisco Liriano, we just can’t quit you. LaVelle Neal of the Star Tribune reports:
The Twins have had conversations with Liriano’s representatives, according to a source with knowledge of the talks, and the sides are expected to meet next week at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville during baseball’s annual winter meetings.
Liriano posted a 5.34 ERA in 2012 for the Twins and White Sox and a 5.09 in 2011 in Minnesota. His 2010 looked great but his 2009 was run-tastic too. It’s hard to remember back when Liriano was viewed as a future ace, but it actually happened. His stuff can still dazzle and he strikes out a lot of guys, but entering his eighth season, banking on him being anything other than an innings-eater at best seems like a stretch.
Still, the Twins need pitching and Liriano technically pitches, so why not?
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.