As of yesterday afternoon the Dodgers were pondering what to do with Ted Lilly now that he’s ready to come off the disabled list, but Zack Greinke’s fractured collarbone seemingly answers that question.
Lilly has been building up arm strength in the minors as he comes back from September shoulder surgery, logging 90 pitches in a Triple-A start Wednesday.
Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reports that the Dodgers think Lilly would be less suited for a bullpen role than Chris Capuano, another veteran starter currently working as a reliever because of the team’s rotation depth. Capuano relieved Greinke last night and could be called on to fill in for him, but if Lilly is deemed ready he seems like the pick.
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.