Many around the game were underwhelmed when the Rays acquired Drew Smyly, Nick Franklin, and Willy Adames in the three-team David Price trade last month. It will probably take years before we can make a fair assessment on the deal, but the early returns are positive for Tampa Bay.
Drew Smyly tossed a two-hit shutout against the Blue Jays in Toronto last night as part of an 8-0 victory. It was his first career complete game.
Smyly struck out four and walked none and retired the final 19 batters he faced. He threw 75 out of 105 pitches for strikes in the gem.
Through four starts with Tampa Bay, Smyly owns a 1.55 ERA and 23/6 K/BB ratio over 29 innings. Prior to joining the Rays, the 25-year-old southpaw had never gone beyond seven innings in his previous 36 starts in the majors. He’s already done that twice with Tampa Bay.
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.