Tony La Russa will be in Cardinals camp too

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Much has been made of Tony La Russa hanging out in Tigers camp with his friend Jim Leyland, but the retired manager will soon be making an appearance in Cardinals camp as well.

Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that La Russa will be participating in a charity golf tournament next week near the Cardinals’ spring training complex and plans to stop by on March 2.

Also of note is that La Russa is scheduled to attend the Cardinals’ regular season opener against the Marlins, at the new ballpark in Miami.

Surely by then he’ll have cured Leyland of his smoking habit. Seems like a one-week project, right?

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.