Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada has committed an MLB-high six errors, including four throwing errors, in 13 games. To put that in some context, eight teams have committed six or fewer total errors this season and if you take Tejada out of the mix the rest of the Mets have committed only four errors.
However, with no true backup shortstop on the roster and no great options at Triple-A the Mets have little choice but to stay patient with Tejada. Here’s what manager Terry Collins told Mike Puma of the New York Post about the situation:
I’ve seen this guy play too much, and I’ve never seen this–never. So had I seen this in the past at some time I may be concerned about it, but I’m just saying the conditions have been unfavorable for what’s going on here.
Collins is right that the weather has often not been favorable–although that hasn’t led to tons of errors by other Mets–and also right that Tejada hasn’t been error-prone in the past. In fact, last season he committed just 12 errors in 110 games at shortstop. Right now he’s on pace for 75.
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.