Stephen Drew doesn’t know if he’ll be ready for Opening Day

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Stephen Drew is currently rehabbing from surgery to repair a fractured right ankle and sports hernia surgery, but we haven’t heard too many updates about his progress. Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic wrote last week that the shortstop had turned down multiple requests this offseason for an interview. Well, Drew finally broke his silence today.

The Diamondbacks’ official Twitter account passed along word earlier this afternoon that Drew spoke with the media and said that while he is “optimistic,” he’s not sure he’ll be ready for Opening Day.

This isn’t much different than the information provided by Diamondbacks’ general manager Kevin Towers in a web chat with fans last week. Drew is currently swinging the bat and participating in baseball-specific drills, but it’s tough to nail down a specific timeline until he tests the ankle in game action.

Drew, who turns 29 in March, batted .252/.317/.396 with five home runs, 45 RBI and a .713 OPS over 86 games last season before fracturing his ankle on July 20. His contract includes a $10 million mutual option for 2013 or a $1.35 million buyout.

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.