Making official what was reported earlier this week, the Rays and David DeJesus have agreed to a two-year contract extension that includes a third-year team option.
DeJesus gets $10.5 million guaranteed and then Tampa Bay will have a $5 million option on his age-36 season in 2016. He’s coming off a two-year, $10 million deal signed with the Cubs and that contract included a $6.5 million option or $1.5 million buyout for 2014. So this is a nearly identical pact.
DeJesus had a pretty typical year, hitting .251 with eight homers and a .729 OPS in 122 games for the Cubs and Rays. His offensive production is slightly below par for a corner outfielder, but clearly the Rays feel his plus defense makes up for it and then some. Expect him to start every day versus right-handers and sit versus most left-handers in 2014.
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.