Red Sox’ third baseman Eduardo Nunez found himself on the wrong end of a collision with the Orioles’ Manny Machado on Friday. The two bumped into each other in the second inning, when Machado tried to beat a throw from catcher Sandy Leon and slid feet-first into second base. Machado came away from the collision no worse for wear, but Nunez was quickly removed from the game after sustaining a left wrist/thumb injury and is listed as day-to-day for the time being.
The slight silver lining: The crash didn’t appear to be intentional, which hasn’t always been the case with Machado. Rather, it looked like some combination of Leon’s wide throw to second and Nunez’s awkward fall was to blame for the injury.
Since the X-rays came back negative, the Red Sox’ third baseman isn’t expected to require a stint on the disabled list, though he’s unlikely to return to the lineup until next week. Prior to the incident, Nunez went 0-for-1 with a groundout against opposing pitcher Jeremy Hellickson. He’s batting .340/.369/.575 with six home runs and a .945 OPS since his trade from the Giants last month.
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.