Marlins showing interest in free agent lefty Joe Saunders

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ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that the Marlins have expressed recent interest left-hander Joe Saunders.

Saunders was non-tendered by the Diamondbacks earlier this month despite posting a respectable 3.69 ERA and 1.31 WHIP across 212 innings in 2011.

The 30-year-old veteran was set to earn around $9 million next season through salary arbitration, and the Snakes deduced that he wasn’t worth it.

If the Marlins are able to lure Saunders in, Chris Volstad could be pushed to the bullpen or moved in a trade. Miami’s other four starters are Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Ricky Nolasco and Anibal Sanchez.

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.