No surprise here: Astros outfielder George Springer was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2017 World Series.
Game 1 was rough for Springer as he went 0-for-4 with four strikeouts. He went on to homer in five of the next six games, knocking in seven runs in the process. Springer doubled to kickstart the Astros’ two-run first inning in Game 7, then added a two-run homer in the second en route to a 5-1 victory. Overall, he hit .379/.471/1.000 in 29 at-bats in the World Series. Chase Utley and Reggie Jackson are the only other players to hit five home runs in the World Series.
Springer had an excellent regular season as well, finishing with a .283/.367/.522 batting line with 34 home runs, 85 RBI, and 112 runs scored in 629 plate appearances. He went 7-for-17 in the ALDS against the Red Sox. The Yankees figured him out, holding him to three hits in 26 at-bats in the ALCS. Springer, of course, rebounded in a big way from that.
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.