Evan Gattis has had a nice little rookie season so far, but while he still has power to burn, the league is starting to figure him out and his OBP is going down. So it’s probably good that Brian McCann is back. The Braves just activated him and he’ll start tonight. The corresponding roster move: the optioning of Tyler Pastornicky. Which sort of sounds like an art house movie title if you think about it.
McCann is coming off shoulder surgery but has looked pretty good on his rehab stint. He’s a .279/.351/.475 career hitter and will be a welcome addition to the feast-or-famine offense they’ve got going on in Atlanta.
Gattis gets to stay and will likely spot in an outfield corner, at first and catch a little while providing a power threat off the bench.
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.