Red Sox turn back to Japan, sign Atchison

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We assume they’ll keep him this time.
The Red Sox initially signed Scott Atchison as a minor league free agent after the 2007 season, only to sell him to the Hanshin Tigers a month later. He compiled a 2.77 ERA in two seasons out of the pen for the Tigers, but he expressed his desire to return to the U.S. after the conclusion of last season. The Red Sox still liked him and offered him a major league deal worth just more than the minimum. They’re also getting team options for 2011 and ’12.
Before heading east, the 33-year-old Atchison posted a 4.10 ERA and a 70/25 K/BB ratio in 68 innings as a major leaguer. He had a difficult time earning opportunities because he doesn’t throw much over 90 mph, but both his slider and curveball are major league pitches. If he picked up any new tricks in Japan, he has a chance to be a significant asset in middle relief.

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.