Not only is Jose Valverde going directly from the minors to reclaiming the Tigers’ closer role, Jon Morosi of FOXSports.com reports that his one-year contract is worth $2 million upfront and another $3 million in potential incentives.
Pretty good for a 35-year-old who wasn’t really wanted back by the Tigers until very recently and struggled to find work of any kind all winter after following up a mediocre regular season with a dreadful postseason.
Valverde was paid $9 million last season, so if we assume most of his incentives are reachable and prorate everything for his missing most of April they’re basically getting him back for around half that price.
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.