Yankees avoid arbitration with Joba Chamberlain by agreeing to one-year deal

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The Yankees announced this evening that they have avoided arbitration with right-hander Joba Chamberlain by agreeing to a one-year contract. Ken Davidoff of the New York Post hears that he’ll make $1.875 million, which is a slight raise from his $1.65 million salary last year.

Chamberlain was on track to return from Tommy John surgery during the first half last year, but the timeline changed dramatically after he suffered a right ankle dislocation on a trampoline during spring training. While it was initially feared that he would miss the entire season, he made his way back to the majors by August 1. The 27-year-old right-hander ended up posting a 4.35 ERA and 22/6 K/BB ratio over 20 2/3 innings during the regular season and pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings during the postseason.

Chamberlain averaged 94.7 mph in his return last season, which is right in line with where he was before Tommy John surgery, so he should be a useful piece in the mid-to-late innings. This was his final year of arbitration, so he’s currently due to become a free agent next offseason.

Report: Twins sign Erick Aybar to minor-league deal

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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.