Scott Kazmir’s comeback is on hold because of an abdominal strain that has him headed to the disabled list and the Indians announced that top prospect Trevor Bauer will be called up from Triple-A to take his place in the rotation Saturday.
Bauer was the No. 3 overall pick in the 2011 draft, almost immediately fell out of favor with the Diamondbacks, and was traded to the Indians this winter in the three-team swap involving Shin-Soo Choo.
He was optioned to Triple-A on March 21, but won’t get a chance to actually make a start there and will instead make his Indians debut versus the Rays. It’s possible that Cleveland would have chosen Carlos Carrasco over Bauer to make the fill-in starts, but Carrasco is serving a six-game suspension.
Kazmir is expected to miss 2-3 starts, but by the time he’s ready to join the rotation Bauer may have grabbed hold of a spot for good.
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.