Erick Aybar agrees to one-year deal, Angels still interested in long-term contract

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Last week the Angels were said to be talking to both shortstop Erick Aybar and second baseman Howie Kendrick about long-term contract extensions.

Kendrick agreed to a four-year, $33.5 million deal, but the negotiations with Aybar apparently haven’t been as smooth and today he avoided arbitration with a one-year, $5.075 million contract.

Aybar is eligible for free agency after this season, but general manager Jerry Dipoto told Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times that the Angels will continue to pursue a long-term extension before that can happen.

Kendrick’s contract bought out his final year of arbitration and first three seasons of free agency, so a similar deal for Aybar would be for approximately $28 million over three years, along with his current one-year, $5.075 million contract. Unfortunately for the Angels, with free agency right around the corner and a solid payday assured for 2012 a 28-year-old shortstop may not want to pass up the open market for a three-year pact.

Blue Jays could move Jaime Garcia to bullpen

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Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi reports that the Blue Jays are considering moving starter Jaime Garcia to the bullpen. If they go that route, Sam Gaviglio would start in Garcia’s place on Sunday against the Angels.

Garcia, 31, has struggled to a 6.16 ERA with a 56/31 K/BB ratio in 61 1/3 innings over 13 starts this season. Gaviglio, meanwhile, has a 3.75 ERA with 35 striekouts and 11 walks in 36 innings across six starts and two relief appearances for the Jays this year.

Garcia inked a one-year, $10 million contract with the Jays in February. The deal includes a club option for the 2019 season worth $10 million with a $2 million buyout.