David Ortiz had Bobby V’s back

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One of the more notable early season memes/impressions/whatever has been this idea that Bobby Valentine is not particularly well-liked in the Boston Red Sox clubhouse. Some of it was based on some legitimate comments or events, a lot of it was based on our assumptions of what Valentine is like and how he may or may not mesh with a veteran team.

But there is a suggestion that if there was ever anything to the notion of Valentine angst, it’s changing. In the course of Joe McDonald’s story of the Red Sox’ turnaround (news flash: people feel better when they’re winning) we hear that David Ortiz called that now-famous team meeting specifically because Bobby V. was gettin’ beat up:

“I was feeling really bad about Bobby the way things were going and it was because I can see the frustration on his face … I saw his frustrations and I felt like [expletive],” added Ortiz.

Boston drama can be and quite often is overstated. But I don’t think that, in light of the departure of the well-loved Terry Francona, this sort of thing is insignificant.

(thanks to big leagues for the heads up)

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.