Major League Baseball announced on Saturday that Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen and Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel were named Relievers of the Year for the National League and the American League, respectively.
Jansen, 30, finished the regular season 5-0 with a 1.32 ERA, an NL-best 41 saves, and a 109/7 K/BB ratio over 68 1/3 innings. It’s the second consecutive year in which Jansen has won the Reliever of the Year Award.
Kimbrel, 29, went 5-0 with a 1.43 ERA, 35 saves, and a 126/14 K/BB ratio in 69 innings of work. This is his first time winning the award, though he did win the annual Delivery Man Award in 2013 and the monthly Delivery Man Award in August 2011, September 2012, and August 2013.
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.