Nick Swisher not quite ready to return from strained hip flexor

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Nick Swisher was originally considered day-to-day when he left last Friday’s game with a strained left hip flexor. However, he sat out rest of the weekend and this week’s three-game series against the Mariners. Now the Yankees have ruled him out for tomorrow’s series opener against the Red Sox.

The good news for the Bombers is that it doesn’t appear to be a DL-situation. According to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News, Swisher took batting practice and ran the bases during a workout this afternoon at Yankee Stadium. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman later said Swisher will “definitely” not be active for tomorrow’s game, but a return on Saturday is possible.

Swisher, 31, is hitting .258/.342/.470 with 14 home runs, 54 RBI and an .812 OPS in 85 games played this season. Ichiro Suzuki has been playing right field since coming over from the Mariners on Monday, but he’s expected to slide over to left field once Swisher is ready to return.

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.