The Red Sox are reportedly listening to offers for left-hander Jon Lester, but he might not be the only member of Boston’s rotation who ends up elsewhere prior to Thursday’s non-waiver trade deadline:
It makes sense that the Red Sox are open to dealing Lester, as he’s an impending free agent and extension talks haven’t gone anywhere. They’ll likely get more back via trade than the value of a compensatory draft pick from a qualifying offer. Besides, there’s always the chance they could re-sign him even they trade him over the next few days. Lester brought up that possibility himself over the weekend. However, Lackey is a very different case, as his contract includes a $500,000 club option for 2015 as a result of his Tommy John surgery from 2012. With that kind of value, there’s an argument to be made that the trade package for him should rival that of Lester. He certainly won’t come cheap.
Lackey, 35, owns a solid 3.55 ERA over 50 starts dating back to the start of last season. His 133 ERA+ is 31st in MLB (min. 250 IP) during that timespan.
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.