Bobby Valentine expects Carl Crawford to miss “a few weeks” of the season

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Carl Crawford hasn’t officially been ruled out for Opening Day following what was said to be minor left wrist surgery last month, but manager Bobby Valentine said today that he expects the left fielder to miss “a few weeks” of the regular season.

Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe reports that “Crawford, at this point, can do everything but hit.”

While that sounds like a cruel joke about his performance at the plate last season, it actually means he has no restrictions in terms of running or other early spring workouts.

By signing Cody Ross the Red Sox added some veteran outfield depth in case Crawford misses extended action and right now Ross, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Ryan Sweeney look likely to be the Opening Day outfield.

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.