Diamondbacks and Miguel Montero avoid arbitration at last minute

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Miguel Montero and the Diamondbacks had an arbitration hearing scheduled for today, but the two sides agreed to a one-year contract just moments before going in.

Steve Gilbert of MLB.com reports that Montero will get $5.9 million, which is $200,000 less than the midpoint between his $6.8 request and the team’s $5.4 million figure.

Montero is coming off a breakout season in which he hit .282 with 18 homers and an .820 OPS in 140 games and the 28-year-old catcher will be a free agent next offseason, so Arizona getting him to accept a long-term deal figures to be very difficult (and costly) at this point.

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.