Rickie Weeks and Brewers set for arbitration on February 17

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Milwaukee avoided arbitration with Shaun Marcum by agreeing to a one-year, $4 million deal yesterday, but they don’t appear close to doing the same with Rickie Weeks and Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that they have a hearing scheduled for February 17.

Weeks requested $7.2 million and the Brewers countered at $4.85 million, so it’s not surprising that they’ve yet to come to a compromise over the sizable $2.35 million difference.

Weeks is coming off a career-year that saw him hit .269 with 29 homers, 112 runs, and an .830 OPS. And just as importantly the oft-injured second baseman stayed healthy for 160 games after never playing more than 129 previously, so with just one season to go before free agency he reportedly hasn’t been that receptive to the Brewers’ long-term contract attempts.

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.