Rob Neyer takes a road trip in the leadup to the SABR convention every year. On that road trip he and a couple of his friends visit the graves of baseball greats and play a game of catch. It’s pretty cool. One of these years I’m going to arrange my life in such a way that I can join them.
This year, however, Rob and his friends found something a bit sad: Josh Gibson’s gave was somewhat neglected. They cleaned it up and all seems right. But the experience did cause Rob to reflect on an idea he has about what the Hall of Fame might do to prevent this sort of thing happening in the future.
Go read Rob’s story for both his pictures of Gibson’s final resting place and Rob’s wonderful, although, I fear, extremely hard to pull off idea.
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.