Back in mid-July the Phillies and Cuban right-hander Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez reportedly agreed to a six-year, $48 million contract, but that deal fell apart over concerns about the health of his elbow.
Today the Phillies announced that they’ve officially signed Gonzalez, but the contract is for three years and $12 million, with a vesting option for 2017. That’s a helluva discount and, considering Gonzalez remained a free agent after the initial deal fell through, suggests the Phillies weren’t the only team worried about his health.
Before the injury issues popped up Gonzalez was generally viewed as a potential mid-rotation starter and someone capable of getting to the majors very quickly at age 26, so if he stays healthy the Phillies may have gotten themselves a bargain by not shying away from the risk.
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.