A promising injury update here for the Rays.
According to beat writer Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, third baseman Evan Longoria is fully recovered from a November cleanup surgery on his troublesome left hamstring and expects to be an active participant throughout spring camp.
“The leg is ready,” he told reporters confidently.
Longoria, 27, was limited to 74 games in 2012 due to lingering hamstring issues but still hit .289/.369/.527 with 17 homers and 55 RBI. He was given a six-year, $100 million contract extension only a few days after going under the knife.
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.