Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic passes along word that the Diamondbacks have expressed interest in free agent right-hander Brandon McCarthy. The D’Backs actually pursued McCarthy two years ago before he latched on with the A’s, though he’s obviously a different pitcher now than he was back then.
McCarthy posted a 3.24 ERA and 73/24 K/BB ratio over 111 innings with the A’s this season prior to being hit in the head by a line drive on September 5 and undergoing emergency brain surgery. The 29-year-old right-hander was cleared to resume baseball activities earlier this month and is slated to begin throwing in December.
Piecoro speculated about the possibility of McCarthy earlier this week and noted that Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers isn’t willing to go beyond two years for a starting pitcher. There are concerns about McCarthy’s history of shoulder issues, but he should be able to land a multi-year deal in this market.
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.