Mark Teixeira appeared on the YES Network last night and said that he hopes to be “swinging full-speed” in January. Of course swinging full-speed last March is what got him into this mess in the first place, but let us not dwell on that for the time being.
Teixeira, as you know, suffered a torn tendon sheath while preparing to play in the World Baseball Classic last spring. It did not respond well to treatment and he ended up having surgery over the summer. He now thinks he can be playing in spring training games by March.
Sadly, Teixiera’s timetables have not lived up to expectations, so the Yankees would do well not to count on him as their everyday first baseman.
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.