As first reported by MLB.com beat writer Ken Gurnick, the Dodgers have optioned outfield prospect Yasiel Puig to Double-A Chattanooga and young infielder Dee Gordon to Triple-A Albuquerque.
Puig nearly hit his way onto the Dodgers’ Opening Day roster this spring, batting .526 with a 1.351 OPS in 59 Cactus League plate appearances. But he has logged just 95 plate appearances in the minors and the Los Angeles decision-makers figured he would be better off getting regular action on the farm.
Gordon initially seemed like a candidate to replace the injured Hanley Ramirez at shortstop, but the Dodgers will go with Luis Cruz instead and ask Juan Uribe and Nick Punto to split time at third base. Gordon is one of the fastest players in baseball, but the 24-year-old owns a weak .260/.299/.315 career batting line in 143 major league games.
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.