Everyone assumes that the Marlins will trade Giancarlo Stanton before he walks as a free agent because the Marlins don’t appear to want to pay for anyone. But don’t be too sure. Joe Frisaro of MLB.com reports that The Iron Giant may be open to an extension. If the Marlins improve:
“In order for the team to have security, that doesn’t happen in two seconds,” said Stanton. “That happens over a season or over two seasons. You show me that, and we can get something going.”
The Marlins should be better this year. They always have had a habit of springing back into contention after everyone has written them off post-fire sale. But given that Stanton is under team control through 2016, there is still a lot of time for the story to change two or three times, rendering those certainties about him being dealt moot.
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.