Bud Selig hints at changes for All-Star Game next year

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Bud Selig touched on a number of hot topics with Bob Costas in an interview that aired on MLB Network last night, including realignment, interleague play, the use of instant replay and the long-rumored addition of two Wild Card teams.

You can read some of his comments via this recap from Adam Berry of MLB.com, but it appears the most imminent change may be with the All-Star Game next year. Selig still loves the home field advantage thing, so don’t look for any changes there, but he plans to do more to make sure some of the game’s biggest stars are represented.

“We’ll have some announcement after the first of the year. … I will expect everybody to be there,” Selig said. “The fact remains, it’s still the best of the All-Star Games. … We will do more for next year to make sure we have better representation.”

Derek Jeter, who was voted in by the fans, skipped out on the All-Star Game this year while several high-profile starting pitchers were unavailable, resulting in a long list of relievers pitching for the American League. One of the possibilities being tossed around is that the game will be pushed back to a Wednesday rather than a Tuesday. This may seem like a minor change, but it will enable those who started a game on Sunday to be eligible to pitch. There are still a lot of problems with the All-Star Game, but if the home field advantage thing isn’t going away, this is a very positive and logical development.

Report: Twins sign Erick Aybar to a 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.