Venezuelan newspaper El Universal reports that Miguel Cabrera has told the Tigers that he wants to play first base.
This is probably a relief to everyone in the Tigers organization, who you have to figure WANT Cabrera to play first base now that Prince Fielder is gone. And want to have third base open for prospect Nick Castellanos. But some recent statements about how the Tigers have not yet decided the matter suggest that, maybe, the team was waiting to make sure they were on the same page with the reigning two-time MVP before committing to it.
With Cabrera going on record in this way, you can bet your bippy that he’ll be the Tigers first baseman come Opening Day.
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.