Orioles activate Nick Markakis from DL after broken wrist

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Baltimore decided not to wait until the second half officially began, activating Nick Markakis from the disabled list after the outfielder missed the past six weeks with a broken hamate bone in his right wrist.

Markakis showed he was ready to return by homering twice during a brief three-game rehab assignment in the minors. He homered a total of eight times in 50 games for the Orioles prior to the injury.

Baltimore started five different players in right field during Markakis’ absence, with Chris Davis getting most of the action there recently.

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.