Red Sox and Reds team up to promote Kevin Youkilis and Joey Votto for the All-Star game

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Kevin Youkilis is a Cincinnati native and starred at the University of Cincinnati before being drafted by the Red Sox, so the Reds are helping to promote him for the All-Star game in the MLB.com “Final Vote” contest.
In return the Red Sox are doing the same for Reds first baseman Joey Votto, who isn’t a Boston native but is the most deserving of the current All-Star snubs.
As part of the alliance fans can vote for Votto via the Red Sox’s website and Youkilis via the Reds’ website, and both teams will also be trolling for duel votes via Twitter, Facebook, and their television and radio broadcasts. Plus, according to Mark Sheldon of MLB.com various Reds players plan to wear “Vote Votto-Youkilis” t-shirts during batting practice.
In related news, 1975 was a long time ago.

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.