Every couple months there’s a new report about how the Marlins aren’t planning to trade Giancarlo Stanton, so here’s the latest: Joe Frisaro of MLB.com talked to a “plugged-in MLB source” who doesn’t see “any scenario” in which they trade the 23-year-old outfielder.
Stanton is under team control through 2016 and made the minimum salary this season, so it’s not as if his salary is an issue even for a team with a gutted payroll. Still, because of the Marlins’ history with such things Stanton’s status is always going to be in question.
Frisaro writes that the Marlins are hesitant to offer Stanton a big long-term contract because “there are reservations” due to his injury history. Which is pretty odd, considering his missed time this year was due to a hamstring injury and he’s played 93 of a possible 96 games since returning from the disabled list.
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.