Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post reports that the Washington Nationals will interview Cubs bench coach Dave Martinez for their managerial opening.
Martinez has been Joe Maddon’s bench coach, first in Tampa Bay and now in Chicago, for a decade. In that time he has interviewed for manager jobs with the Indians, Blue Jays and White Sox. His name has been mentioned in connection with any number of other job openings too, including that of the Nationals when it was open previously. This offseason he was discussed as a candidate for the Detroit Tigers before they hired Ron Gardenhire.
Washington might be a tough place to go given how they’ve cycled through managers over the past several years. From a baseball perspective, however, it would be a good job given the talent on that roster. For his part, Martinez is long overdue in my view. He should’ve been managing someplace years ago.
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.