Manny Machado’s doctor, Neal ElAttrache, keeps giving updates on the third baseman’s status to ESPN before telling the Orioles and it’s starting to annoy manager Buck Showalter.
Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun writes that Showalter “purposely didn’t mention ElAttrache by name” during a postgame interview with the local media and replied “I’ll let ESPN take care of that” to a question about Machado.
ElAttrache is the Dodgers’ orthopedic surgeon and, while not as well known as Dr. James Andrews, frequently appears in media reports. This time he’s quoted in an article by Stephania Bell of ESPN.com, although you’d think Showalter would be a little more forgiving about the situation considering all of the news about Machado is pretty positive.
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.