Major League Baseball gave a five-game suspension to Manny Machado after he chucked his bat in the direction of A’s third baseman Josh Donaldson on June 8 at Camden Yards. Machado appealed that suspension immediately to remain active, and his case is finally going to be heard on Wednesday in Baltimore according to MASN’s Roch Kubatko.
Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette will be in attendance with Machado at the hearing, which is expected to yield a ruling sometime this weekend. Kubatko says the Orioles, “citing precedents, are confident that Machado’s suspension will be reduced.”
The problem is there aren’t many precedents to so blatantly throwing a bat at an opposing player on the follow-through of a swing — an action that led to both benches clearing. Here’s the video …
Donaldson put a hard tag on Machado two days earlier and A’s reliever Fernando Abad threw inside twice during the plate appearance that led to the bat toss, but Machado’s behavior was still pretty childish.
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.