With Carlos Quentin to dangle, White Sox scout Braves pitching

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The White Sox sent assistant general manager Dave Yokum to watch Braves pitchers last week, leading to speculation that GM Ken Williams might be interested in dealing for some of Atlanta’s excess pitching.

According to CSNChicago.com, one of the pitchers the White Sox were eyeing was Brandon Beachy, though the 24-year-old looks far from expendable given his 3.23 ERA and 72/15 K/BB ratio in 61 1/3 innings as a rookie this season.

The Braves, though, could certainly use a bat, and the White Sox might be willing to trade Carlos Quentin if they can get a long-term starting pitcher in return.  Quentin has bounced back to hit .253/.351/.512 with 17 homers and 49 RBI this season, and he was named to the All-Star team Sunday.  The White Sox would lose quite a bit by taking him out of the lineup, but they do have Dayan Viciedo ready for an opportunity in a corner-outfield slot.

It is hard to imagine the Braves signing off on a Beachy-for-Quentin swap, but Mike Minor for Quentin could work for both sides.  Minor, the seventh overall selection in the 2009 draft, wouldn’t crack the White Sox rotation right away, but he would be a fine choice to step in next year with both Mark Buehrle and Edwin Jackson potentially departing through free agency.

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.