Padres manager Bud Black told MLB Network Radio today that he expects the team to name a new general manager within the next 48 hours.
As we noted yesterday, Yankees assistant general manager Billy Eppler is viewed as the front-runner,, but several others have been mentioned for the job, including Kim Ng and even Kevin Towers.
Now that the trading deadline is over and the Padres have unloaded most of what they need to unload, the urgency for a new GM isn’t quite what it was. But whoever gets the job has a big job ahead of them.
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.