It’s been nine days since Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reported that Johan Santana was close to signing a minor-league deal and that hasn’t happened yet, but now Andy Martino of the New York Daily News reports that the Twins “remain a real possibility” to sign Santana.
According to Martino at least a dozen teams have expressed interest in Santana, who missed all of last season and is a huge question mark at age 34 because of major shoulder problems.
I’m a Twins fan and Santana is my favorite pitcher of all time, so you’d find me at Target Field for every one of his starts this year, but the rotation is already pretty packed after signing Ricky Nolasco and Phil Hughes and re-signing Mike Pelfrey.
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.