Kyle McClellan to avoid elbow surgery, rest for 6-8 weeks

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As the injuries continue to pile up in St. Louis the Cardinals got a bit of good news on the health front, as doctors believe reliever Kyle McClellan’s partially torn elbow ligament won’t require surgery.

McClellan got a second opinion from Dr. James Andrews and for once that wasn’t a precursor to going under the knife, with Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reporting that he’s been told to “treat the injury with 6-8 weeks of rest” and “also had a platelet-rich plasma injection in his right arm.”

The official diagnosis is a flexor pronator strain and a mild tear of his ulnar collateral ligament. McClellan previously had Tommy John surgery in 2005 and certainly isn’t totally out of the woods yet when it comes to potentially needing it again, but Andrews apparently left him with some hope about returning in August and September.

McClellan has a 3.69 ERA in 378 career innings, making 17 starts and 233 relief appearances through age 27.

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.