Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch confirms that the Cardinals are promoting top prospect Kolten Wong from Triple-A Memphis. He will join the team in Chicago tomorrow. In a corresponding move, the Cardinals will option Adron Chambers to Memphis.
Wong was drafted by the Twins in the 16th round of the 2008 draft, but did not sign, opting instead to play at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. The Cardinals drafted him in the first round (22nd overall) of the 2011 draft. The 22-year-old started the year at Triple-A, where he has posted an .835 OPS with 10 home runs and 20 stolen bases in 463 trips to the plate.
Wong may get regular playing time at second base, which would push Matt Carpenter to third base and David Freese to the bench.
In other Cardinals top prospect news, outfielder Oscar Taveras will undergo season-ending surgery on his ailing ankle.
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.