Beltre choosing comfort over safety

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Adrian Beltre, apparently, is a gambling man.

The Mariners third baseman is trying to work his way back from the disabled list after being sidelined by a bad-hop grounder to his man region, resulting in a “severely contused testicle.” OUCH.

Beltre took infield and batting practice today, and is eligible to return on Friday.

We’ve already discussed Beltre’s aversion to wearing a cup, the main reason for the severity of his injury.

But interestingly, Beltre, an excellent defender, is still choosing comfort over safety, telling The News Tribune that he would wear a cup “against my will, maybe.”

“I’ve tried before. It’s uncomfortable. I hated it. If it’s going to happen every 11 years of my career, I’ll take my chances.”

In the same story, Beltre says when he was injured, he thought “it exploded.”

Nothing against Beltre. He’s a tough customer, and a great defensive third basemen. But once things start “exploding,” that would be enough for me.

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If you Twitter, and you don’t mind Roger Dorn’s defense, feel free to follow me at @Bharks.

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.