Tim Hudson had back surgery

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Braves starter Tim Hudson had a wonky back late in the season and had hoped to avoid surgery. He didn’t, however, and today had surgery to repair a herniated disc. The surgery — like all surgery on athletes — was reported as “successful.”

One day, heaven forbid, they’re going to report someone’s surgery as “a hot mess.”  That will be interesting.

Anyway, Hudson is expected to be ready for spring training. But, dudes, your team’s most important starter coming off surgery like this is not the best thing in the world. Almost makes you wonder if the Braves’ talk about being willing to deal Jair Jurrjens is just that now, and they they’d prefer to keep him in the event Hudson is slow to rebound.

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.