Tigers’ Jacob Turner shut down with dead arm

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Detroit’s top prospect is rapidly falling out of the mix for a rotation spot.

Jacob Turner, who gave up six runs — five earned — in 1 2/3 innings Monday against the Mets, has been shut down for a few days due to a “dead-arm period,” said manager Jim Leyland.

Though he’s just 20, Turner looked like the favorite to act as the Tigers’ fifth starter at the start of camp. Now it’s Andrew Oliver, who has pitched seven scoreless innings in official games and three more in an exhibition against a college team earlier this month. Drew Smyly, who has allowed one run in four innings, is also in the mix.

Turner got brought up in most the Tigers’ trade talks over the winter, with several teams trying to pry him away. The ninth overall pick in the 2009 draft, he had a 3.44 ERA and a 110/35 K/BB ratio in 131 innings between Double- and Triple-A last year. He went 0-1 with an 8.53 ERA in three late starts for Detroit.

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.