Less than a month after signing John Axford to a minor-league contract the Rockies have added him to the 40-man roster, guaranteeing the veteran reliever’s $2.6 million salary for this season.
Based on the quick move it seems likely that the Rockies all but assured Axford he’d make the Opening Day roster and the non-guaranteed nature of the initial contract was merely a roster-rule formality.
Axford had a 3.92 ERA and 63/36 K/BB ratio in 55 innings for the Indians last season, spending most of the year in a setup role after losing the closing gig early on.
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.