A not-so Old Timer

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As Matt mentioned over the weekend, it was Old Timers Day in Yankee Stadium yesterday. One of the timers was not so old:

At the new Yankee Stadium on Sunday, the former pitcher Mike Mussina
was the newest Yankee old-timer and probably the most physically fit.
He started the nostalgia game, allowing hits to the first four batters
. . . When someone asked Mussina if he could come back for a partial
season the way Roger Clemens did, Mussina smiled and shook his head.

“There’s less than half a year left and it would take me a month,
easy, to be even close to ready, and I don’t know what ready would be
for me,” Mussina said. “Full speed might be 78 miles per hour . . . I
can still play. It’s just that there’s a lot of other stuff involved,
and sometimes that stuff wears you down. All the other old-timers are
older than I am. But it’s O.K. I’ll be an old-timer the rest of my
life.”

Noted, but I can’t help but think that he’d make about 20 rotations
better than they currently are. Still, nice to see someone happy in
retirement. It’s rare that anyone leaves big time sports on their own
terms, and rarer still that someone who does so sticks with it, and
happily.

It’s like he’s the Anti-Favre.

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.