How Kristen Lee and the kids influenced Cliff Lee’s decision

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There’s a good story over at Philly.com — pointed out to me by Jonny 5 — talking to the Lee family about what went into the decision to go back to the Phillies.  Kristen Lee plays down the anti-New York stuff that popped up a couple of months ago.  The image of a couple of Arkansas kids who just wanted to be near home is put to rest as well. Like a lot of people, the Lees seem to like experiencing different things.  Six months back home in Arkansas is great, but six months in a city with the kinds of cultural opportunities Philadelphia offers is great too.  How novel.

The thing that sticks out to me.  Kristen Lee’s comments about how “we were traded to Philadelphia” in 2009.  Almost every time you read a story in which a player’s wife is quoted, they talk about when “we” were traded or when “we signed” with such and such a team.  It’s easy to forget the family aspects of player moves — and easy to mock them when they become a big story — but the “we” thing is very real.

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.