Shi Davidi of SportsNet reports that the Jays had two potential trades fall through this offseason: one for Brett Anderson, one for Ian Kinsler. The Anderson deal fell through due to the Jays’ concern over his health. Kinsler was a different matter:
But a potential deal was scuttled by the three-time all-star’s no-trade clause, leaving the Rangers to look elsewhere, and the Blue Jays to anoint rookie Ryan Goins as the front-runner at second base.
You wonder what caused the rejection. Could be any number of things. The fact that the Jays still likely profile as a bottom-of-the-division team. Canadian taxes. A long blood-feud with Adam Lind. The possibilities are endless.
I wonder about the turf. Only two ballparks in the game still have fake grass and one of them is Toronto. Players hate that stuff. The Jays are slated to lose the turf by 2018 when the Argonauts leave Rogers Centre. You have to think it’ll help their chances to attract better players.
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.