Padres' lead down to one game as losing streak hits 10

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After beating the Diamondbacks on August 25 the Padres had a 76-49 record and 6.5-game lead in the NL West. They’d won three games in a row and 13 of their last 16, and their odds of winning the division were over 90 percent.
And they haven’t won since, dropping their 10th consecutive game yesterday while being swept by the Rockies. San Diego’s lead in the division is down to one game over San Francisco and 4.5 games over Colorado, and now various projections have their NL West-winning odds at around 55-60 percent.
Only two teams in baseball history have made the playoffs after a 10-game losing streak, with the most recent being the 1982 Braves and the most famous being Bobby Thomson and the 1951 Giants.
Also working against the Padres is a very tough remaining schedule that includes six straight series against above-.500 teams before finishing the season with a four-game set against the Cubs. They’ll try to snap the streak tonight against the Dodgers, in San Diego, and then face the Giants, Rockies, Cardinals, Dodgers again, and Reds.
In other words, there will be no backing into the playoffs for the year’s most surprising contenders.

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.