Marlins catcher John Baker to undergo Tommy John surgery

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Marlins starting catcher John Baker has been out since mid-May with an elbow injury and after suffering a setback while rehabbing in the minors last week Dr. James Andrews has determined that he needs Tommy John surgery.
The good news for Baker is that position players tend to come back from Tommy John surgery much sooner than pitchers. The bad news is that being a catcher who can’t afford to have problems throwing complicates that and either way he’s likely to miss a big chunk of next season.
“Super frustrating, but at least I can move forward,” Baker told Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald. “I’m really happy to put this behind me and move forward. It’s been a rough year for me.”
Baker has been sidelined for over three months already, backup Ronny Paulino was recently suspended 50 games for performance-enhancing drugs, and third-stringer Brett Hayes is out with a separated shoulder thanks to Nyjer Morgan, so the Marlins have signed 35-year-old Mike Rivera just to provide some catching depth for the final month.

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.