The Toronto Blue Jays will honor the late Roy Halladay by retiring his number — 32 — on Opening Day, just before the Jays face off against the New York Yankees at Rogers Centre. The Jays will likewise wear a No. 32 patch on their jerseys for the entirety of the 2018 season.
Hallday spent 12 of his 16 seasons in the bigs with the Jays, winning the Cy Young Award in Toronto in 2003. For his Blue Jays career he was 148-76 with a 3.43 ERA in 416 games, 390 of which came as a starter. He was a six-time AL All-Star with the Blue Jays as well and established himself as one of the best pitchers in all of baseball in a Jays uniform.
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.