Micah Owings was once one of the best-hitting pitchers in all of baseball. He was so good at hitting that he decided a year ago to become a full-time first baseman. After a year in the minors in which he hit .252/.296/.444 with nine homers and 34 RBI in 82 games, he has decided to switch back, reports Chris Cotillo.
He’s currently unsigned and is looking for a minor league deal. Owings, who is 31 years-old, is 32-33 with a 4.86 ERA and 347 strikeouts and 208 walks in 483 major league innings, with the Diamondbacks, Reds and Padres.
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.