Padres close to signing reliever Chad Qualls to one-year deal

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Chad Qualls is “close to agreeing on a contract” with the Padres, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com.

With a 7.32 ERA in 59 innings between two teams Qualls had a dreadful 2010, but most of that can be blamed on a .399 batting average on balls in play that was the worst in all of baseball among the 327 pitchers who logged at least 50 innings.

Earlier this week Buster Olney of ESPN.com reported that Qualls was looking for a one-year deal, so he could rebuild his value and then hit the open market again next offseason, and with that as his goal calling pitcher-friendly Petco Park home is the best-case scenario.

UPDATE: Morosi says it’s a one-year deal worth around $2 million, with a team option for 2012. Very nice pickup for the Padres.

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.