John Lott of the National Post reports that the Blue Jays have activated shortstop Jose Reyes from the disabled list, put first baseman/DH Adam Lind on the DL, called up first baseman/DH Juan Francisco from Triple-A Buffalo and demoted infielder Munenori Kawasaki down to Buffalo.
Reyes suffered a hamstring injury near the end of spring training, and took only one at-bat on Opening Day before departing with more hamstring issues. Lind exited Tuesday’s game with tightness in his back and was reevaluated on Friday, but the Blue Jays didn’t like what they saw.
Kawasaki only stepped to the plate nine times since his call-up early this week, posting a .556 OPS. Meanwhile, Francisco was raking with Buffalo, hitting .349 with two homers and 11 RBI in 49 trips to the plate. So the Jays upgrade at shortstop but lose their regular DH in the process, though if Francisco’s performance at Triple-A is any indication, he should be an adequate replacement for Lind.
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.