Thank God, a coherent Hall of Fame column at SI

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Yesterday Sports Illustrated upchucked Jon Heyman and Dan Shaughnessy’s Hall of Fame columns on an unsuspecting and unprepared populace. To atone for those sins, they run Joe Posnanski’s today.  Ahhh, sweet, fresh coherence . . .

Best part: he comments on all 26 players on the ballot, including the Kevin Appiers and Eric Karroses (Karroi?) of the world.  Coherence and comprehensiveness.  You’d think it would be a prerequisite for getting a gig at a big fancy magazine like Sports Illustrated, but apparently Posnanski’s hiring represented SI moving into that territory for the first time.

Anyway, I agree with seven of his eight selections: Trammell, Alomar, Larkin, Blyleven, Martinez, Raines and McGwire.

I don’t agree with his eighth selection: Dale Murphy.  Even as a Braves fan who loved, loved, loved Murph back in the day, I can’t bring myself to support him for the Hall. The peak was great, but it was really five or six elite years surrounded by one or two good years surrounded by an abyss that no one has ever managed to explain. I won’t rage against the fates if Murph makes it in one day — I got that out of my system with Jim Rice last year — but Murphy fell right off the cliff, and in my mind he falls just short.

Beyond that, though? Excellent ballot and an excellent column supporting it.  But whaddaya expect? It’s Posnanski. 

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.