Jason Bay cleared for physical activity, still wants to return this season

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Jason Bay has finally been cleared to begin physical activity, however he’s not sure if he will be able to play again this season, reports Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com.

“I expect to. But, at the same time … I haven’t done anything in a
month and there’s a certain rigor of programs you need to go through,”
Bay said. “I’m also fighting not just getting back into shape, but also
making sure my head doesn’t hurt, either. You’re going against two
things.

“I fully expect to and I want to [return]. I also
understand we have time constraints as well. If the consolation to all
of it is going into the offseason knowing I didn’t have any
restrictions, that’s definitely something that I need to do.”

Bay said his persistent headaches began to subside about a week ago. He suffered a concussion when he ran face-first into the left field wall in Los Angeles on July 23. Since then, he has had time to speak with several athletes who have gone through concussions, including his friend and fellow countryman Justin Morneau, who continues to experience symptoms.

It would be nice to see Bay return in September, but it won’t change the reality that his first season in Queens has been a disappointment for all involved. Signed to a four-year, $66 million contract over the winter, Bay is batting just .249/.347/.402 with six homers, 47 RBI and a 749 OPS.

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.