Getty Images

White Sox sign Al Alburquerque to minors deal

1 Comment

The White Sox signed right-hander Al Alburquerque to a minor league deal on Friday. Alburquerque was released by the Royals last week and has made just 11 big league appearances this season. He has been assigned to the White Sox’ Triple-A Charlotte, where he’ll attempt to exhibit more consistency on the mound before making another leap to the majors.

Alburquerque, 31, has seen limited major league opportunities over the last few seasons. He picked up a minor league contract with the Angels to start the 2016 season, but pitched only two innings before being demoted to Triple-A Salt Lake and was finally released by the club in August. His last productive season came in 2014, when he developed a 2.51 ERA and maintained a career-best 3.3 BB/9 rate over 57 1/3 innings with the Tigers. In 2017, the right-hander issued seven hits, four runs and nine strikeouts over 10 innings with the Royals.

Whether or not Alburquerque will hit his stride in Chicago remains to be seen, but the acquisition is relatively risk-free for the White Sox, who are currently on the hunt for more bullpen depth. Even with recent additions like right-handers Danny Farquhar, Mark Lowe and Jean Machi, their relief corps ranks 12th among major league competitors with a collective 3.94 ERA and 3.2 fWAR.

Report: Twins sign Erick Aybar to minor-league deal

Getty Images
Leave a comment

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.