Mets sign Tim Byrdak to a minor league contract

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Mike Silva of New York Baseball Digest had this one last night.  Adam Rubin of ESPN New York confirmed it this morning.

The Mets have signed left-handed reliever Tim Byrdak to a minor league contract and, presumably, have invited him to spring training.

There’s a real chance that Byrdak will be able to climb his way into a lefty specialist role before spring training and open the year in the majors.  Taylor Tankersley, a fellow southpaw who will also be in camp on a minor league contract, is the only guy who might stand in his way.

Byrdak, 37, held left-handed batters to a cool .213/.271/.373 batting line last year and posted a 3.49 overall ERA.  When used correctly, he can be a valuable bullpen piece.

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.