Derek Jeter’s ankle is a chronic thing, he’s likely to play tonight

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The loss of Derek Jeter would be a bad, bad thing for the Yankees right now, but it sounds as though that bone bruise he suffered last night isn’t going to keep him out of the lineup. Seems it’s a chronic thing that was merely aggravated, not some totally new injury:

Turns out, though, the ankle is a problem that was only flaring up again. Jeter is likely to be in the lineup Thursday night when the Yanks try to win the series against the Red Sox at Fenway.

Joe Girardi said he first noticed the ankle bothering Jeter in Tampa Bay at the beginning of the road trip. Jeter, as usual, was somewhat less revealing about the injury.

“You either play or you don’t,” Jeter said. “I’m playing, so it’s not an issue. I’ll be fine.”

We get a lot of Saint Derek, the Competitor stories throughout the year, and we usually roll our eyes at them. But even if the idea can be exaggerated, it’s not some wholesale invention by a fawning press. Dude is tough and if he ever makes an excuse about anything, it’ll be the first time he’s ever done so.

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.