Free agent left-hander Chris Capuano is on the verge of signing with the Red Sox, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. Cafardo reports that a deal could be completed as soon as today.
Boston’s need for rotation help increased following Ryan Dempster’s decision to sit out the season and Capuano represents a cheap option who presumably won’t require a multi-year commitment.
Capuano was limited to 20 starts last season by a groin injury and the Dodgers’ rotation depth, but he posted a 3.91 ERA and 52/10 K/BB ratio in 13 starts after June 1 and was a solid mid-rotation starter in 2012 with a 3.72 ERA in 198 innings. At age 35 he’s a risk to decline, but Capuano has always missed a solid number of bats, is impossible to run on, and shouldn’t be a dropoff from what Dempster gave the Red Sox last year.
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.