The Red Sox acquired outfielder Rajai Davis from the Oakland Athletics. Boston is sending minor league outfielder Rafael Rincones to the A’s in exchange. Boston designated Steve Selsky to clear spot on the roster.
Davis’ overall numbers on the year are poor — he’s hitting .233/.294/.353 with five homers and 26 stolen bases — but he’s been hot in the second half, hitting .303/.361/.487 with three homers and 11 steals in 13 attempts since the All-Star break. Last year, of course, he led the league in stolen bases with 43 and was a hero in Game 7 of the World Series, hitting a homer off of Aroldis Chapman to tie the game and send it into extra innings. Davis will be valuable for Boston as a pinch runner and a useful bat against lefties down the stretch and in the postseason.
Rincones just turned 18 and is still playing in the Dominican Summer League, so who knows what the A’s have in him. Mostly, I suspect, they were acquiring the money they would’ve have to pay Davis in the final month of the one year, $6 million deal they gave him this past offseason.
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.