Yes, you did read the above headline correctly.
Todd Helton, a first-round pick of the Rockies in 1995 who spent all 17 of his major league seasons with the organization, is playing the final home game of his career on Wednesday night at Coors Field.
Helton hit a solo home run in the second inning off Red Sox starter Jake Peavy and also drove in runs in the third and fifth innings, but the real highlight of the evening happened just before first pitch when Rockies management gifted the 40-year-old and his family a living, breathing horse named Bustamove. From the Rockies’ official Twitter feed:
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.