Last month amid questions about how top prospect Jurickson Profar will fit into the Rangers’ lineup Ian Kinsler said he’d be willing to play wherever the team wants him:
I’m paid to be a Texas Ranger. Where I play on the field is not my decision. I’m going to do whatever I can to help the team win regardless of where I am on the fielder or where I’m hitting in the batting order.
That’s basically a perfect quote and exactly what any team would want a player to say, but it sounds like there might be a difference between Kinsler’s public stance and private stance on switching positions.
According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com the career-long second baseman “is not thrilled with the idea of changing positions less than a year after signing a five-year, $75 million contract extension.”
General manager Jon Daniels told Rosenthal that no decision has been made yet on Kinsler’s position for 2013, but if Profar is in the majors and Elvis Andrus isn’t traded Kinsler won’t be playing in the middle infield and Adrian Beltre isn’t going anywhere at third base.
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.