Yankees right-hander Ivan Nova has decided to undergo Tommy John elbow surgery after a second opinion agreed with the initial diagnosis of a torn ulnar collateral ligament. He’ll go under the knife Tuesday, with Dr. James Andrews doing the honors.
He’ll miss the remainder of this season and likely some of 2015 as well. Nova is making $3.3 million this year and he’s arbitration eligible again next season, so the Yankees could decide to tender him a contract and pay similar money hoping he can make a second-half impact. He’d also still be under team control in 2016.
Nova was terrible before being shut down, allowing 19 runs in 21 innings, but he was very effective last season with a 3.10 ERA in 139 innings and is still just 27 years old.
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.