Pirates rule out Paul Maholm, Kevin Correia for rest of season

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The Pirates shifted rotation mainstays Paul Maholm and Kevin Correia to the 60-day disabled list on Tuesday, officially bringing their seasons to an end.

Maholm went on the DL on Aug. 20 with a left shoulder strain after going 6-14 with a 3.66 ERA in 26 starts, leaving the Pirates with a tough decision to make this winter.  His option for 2012 is worth $9.75 million, which seems excessive for a guy who is 53-73 lifetime.  Maholm, though, had a career-best ERA this year, and he had made at least 29 starts in each of his previous five full seasons.  He’d likely land a multiyear deal as a free agent if the Pirates let him go.

Correia, a surprise All-Star, ended his year 12-11 with a 4.79 ERA.  He’s been sidelined since Aug. 19 with a strained oblique muscle.  Correia was 7-4 with a 3.44 ERA after two months, but he faded fast from there and went 1-5 over his last eight starts.

The Pirates made the moves today to help create room for callups.  Brought back to the majors were third baseman Pedro Alvarez, left-hander Aaron Thompson and left-hander Daniel Moskos.  Left-hander Jeff Locke and right-hander Jared Hughes will make their major league debuts.

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.