Chad Curtis to stand trial for criminal sexual conduct

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Former major league outfielder Chad Curtis will stand trial in Michigan on five counts of criminal sexual conduct after appearing in court Friday.

After hearing testimony from two girls, ages 15 and 16, Barry County District Judge Michael Schipper ruled Friday that Curtis is to be tried. He also told Curtis that he’s no longer allowed to coach his 12-year-old son’s travel baseball team.

As reported earlier, Curtis is facing two counts in the second degree, one in the third degree and two in the fourth degree. The second- and third-degree charges are punishable by up to 15 years of imprisonment. The fourth-degree charges carry punishments of up to two years of imprisonment and $500 fines.

Curtis has denied any wrongdoing. No courtdate has been set.

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.