As first reported by CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, the Indians have reached agreement on a one-year contract with free agent outfielder Rajai Davis. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal says it will be worth $5.25 million with some performance-based incentives tacked on.
Davis posted a respectable .746 OPS with eight home runs and 18 stolen bases in 113 games this past season for the Tigers. He gives the Indians much-needed outfield depth with Michael Brantley recovering from major offseason shoulder surgery. There have been reports that Brantley might not be recovered until June.
Davis is 35 years old, but he still moves well and there is little risk in any one-year deal. There’s a chance he maintains starter-like playing time even when Brantley returns.
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.