Prince Fielder was asked yesterday about his disappearing act during the playoffs this past season and the fact that the hometown folks started to complain about it:
“Everybody was on me a little bit about my performance, but rightfully so,” said Fielder. “I sucked, but I didn’t have to be reminded of it. Hopefully, we can make some better memories here.”
I feel like, on the whole, the media environment in Dallas is more hostile than the one in Detroit. It’s not crazy or anything, but the talk radio down there is certainly more critical of players. I wonder how Fielder will take it if he sucks again.
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.