U.S. tops World 6-4 in All-Star Futures Game

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The U.S. squad received scoreless performances from nine of its 10 pitchers and got a homer from Indians prospect Jason Kipnis in winning the All-Star Futures Game 6-4 on Sunday.

Kipnis homered to start the bottom of the first of Braves phenom Julio Teheran, and the U.S. went on to build a 3-0 lead through five before the World Team touched Cleveland’s Drew Pomeranz for four runs in the sixth.

Keying the World rally were a two-run homer from Dodgers prospect Alfredo Silverio and an RBI triple from the Rangers’ Jurickson Profar.  Pomeranz was unable to finish the sixth, making way for the Twins’ Kyle Gibson after giving up three hits and a walk.

The U.S. came back to win by scoring three times in the eighth.  Grant Green, who took over for Kipnis at second base, drove in a run with his second double in two at-bats and was named the game’s MVP afterwards.

Phillies prospect Jarred Cosart picked up the win after striking out two in a perfect eighth.  The Mets’ Matt Harvey retired the only batter he faced in the ninth for the save.

Bryce Harper, the prospect most were there to see, played the whole game, only to end up 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.

The Rays’ Matt Moore, who was picked over Teheran as the game’s top pitching prospect by Baseball America last week, put on the best show of all the premium arms.  He was consistently in the high-90s while throwing a perfect fourth.

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.