As first reported by Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, the Rays have officially promoted shortstop prospect Tim Beckham from Triple-A Durham. To clear a spot on the 40-man roster, injured outfielder Brandon Guyer was put on the 60-day disabled list.
Beckham, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2008 MLB Amateur Draft, could see semi-regular action down the stretch for the suddenly-struggling Rays. He hit .276/.342/.387 with four home runs and 17 stolen bases in 122 games this season at the Triple-A level and can be a useful pinch-runner at the very least.
The Rays lost 7-1 to the Rangers on Tuesday night in a poorly-attended game at Tropicana Field and are in a frantic battle with several different teams for the two American League Wild Card spots.
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.