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Tony La Russa: “The player and their representative, they have an obligation to be reasonable too.”


Red Sox special assistant Tony La Russa chimed in on the labor issue of our time which currently finds over 100 free agents teamless with spring training under way. La Russa lays the blame at the feet of the players and their agents. Via Evan Drellich of NBC Sports Boston:

It’s strange, unique, makes you scratch your head. The player and their representative, they have an obligation to be reasonable too. You can’t shoot for the stars. ‘Cause the teams, they want to win and they try to do the best they can. I just think that in the end, the best situations are when you have a real good agent and the player participates in his future. I mean the dam’s gotta break, and it’s going to break and it’s going to be a tsunami.

It’s not surprising that La Russa comes down on this side of the issue, considering his position. He’s wrong, of course — player salaries haven’t climbed commensurate with MLB revenues, as Nathaniel Grow illustrated at FanGraphs in 2015. If anything, the players — even the Jake Arrietas and J.D. Martinez‘s of the world — are underpaid. Furthermore, the players are underpaid during their first six years of service time in the majors, so it’s only fair if they’re overpaid afterwards anyway. That’s the whole point.

La Russa also briefly addressed the suggestion that team owners have been colluding to drive free agent prices down. He said, “I don’t like the collusion stuff. In fact, lately, I think the media’s starting to catch on [to the player-agent dynamic].”

Not all of us, Tony. Not all of us.

Report: Twins sign Erick Aybar to minor-league deal

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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.