UPDATE: Machado’s surgery went as planned today, but Rich Dubroff of CSNBaltimore.com notes that the Orioles announced that his recovery time is expected to be around six months. The initial timetable had him at 4-6 months, but the new one indicates that he will unavailable at the start of the 2014 season.
11:17 a.m. ET: Manny Machado’s knee surgery is taking place today in Los Angeles, according to Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com.
Machado has been given a 4-6 month recovery timetable for a torn medial patellofemoral ligament in his left knee, so his status for Opening Day is in some question. Returning in six months would mean mid-April.
He initially hoped to avoid surgery and simply rest and rehab the injury, but doctors advised the Orioles third baseman that going under the knife would lessen his risk of future problems.
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.