San Diego Padres Sign Erick Aybar to Minor League Deal
The San Diego Padres are continuing to acquire interesting assets during their rebuild. Yesterday, they inked Erick Aybar to a minor league contract, and are giving him a chance to be their shortstop.
To call what the San Diego Padres have done a fire sale would be an understatement. They have sent away anything with a pulse and a salary over the Major League average, turning the team into the 17th Pacific Coast League squad. In fact, the three highest paid Padres players will not be on the team in 2017.
However, amidst the scorched wasteland that is the Padres Major League roster, there are a few interesting players. While these are mainly prospects that will be given a chance to prove themselves next year, some of their signings have also piqued a bit of curiosity. That was the case when the Padres inked Erick Aybar to a minor league deal.
Sources: Erick Aybar has signed a minor league deal with the San Diego Padres. Will fight for a wide-open shortstop job.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 7, 2017
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Aybar had been a relatively solid shortstop with the Los Angeles Angels during his peak. From 2009 through 2015, he had a .278/.318/.383 batting line, averaging 28 doubles and 18 steals a year. He won a Gold Glove award and was named to the 2014 All Star Game, a steady player in the middle of the diamond.
Last season, Aybar struggled after his trade to the Braves. While he rebounded in the second half to produce an overall .243/.303/.320 batting line with 19 doubles, it was still a major disappointment.
For the Padres, it is a great low cost signing. Aybar will compete with Luis Sardinas to be the starting shortstop, and could be a bounceback candidate if successful. As the Padres are likely to be out of the running by the trade deadline, if Aybar proves he has anything left, they may be able to get a solid prospect or two for the veteran shortstop. If not, the signing is not exactly going to cost the Padres a great deal.
Erick Aybar is getting a chance to prove that he has something left in the tank. If he does, the San Diego Padres may be able to add to their prospect stockpile in a few more months.