LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL — Eric Nadel, the radio voice of the Texas Rangers, has been named the winner of the Ford C. Frick Award. The Fick Award is presented annually for excellence in broadcasting by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.
The fourth time was the charm for Nadel, as he was previously nominated the past three years, only to be passed over. Passed over this year were finalists Joe Castiglione, Jacques Doucet, Ken Harrelson, Bill King, Duane Kuiper, Eduardo Ortega, Mike Shannon, Dewayne Staats and Pete van Wieren. There’s a lot of broadcasting talent in that group and no doubt some future Frick Award winners among them. Hawk Harrelson is in there too.
Nadel will be honored during the July 26 Awards Presentation as part of Hall of Fame Weekend 2014 in Cooperstown, N.Y.
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.