All hail Dan Duquette?

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The comments are a fertile place for discussion topics this morning.  This one comes from rockthered1286 in the And That Happened thread, giving kudos to Orioles’ GM Dan Duquette for pushing buttons to give this team Nate McLouth, Jim Thome, Omar Quintanilla, Manny Machado, Randy Wolf and Joe Saunders.

I’ll grant him Machado as a good move before it was made and after, and one that some GMs wouldn’t have made. And I’ll note that not all of those guys have performed well for the O’s (i.e. Wolf), but man, how often do a series of moves involving guys like that, either in age or talent, bring about a playoff appearance? Who said when any of those guys were acquired that yes, now, the Orioles are going to the playoffs? No one, obviously.

I don’t want to oversell the “Orioles are lucky!” angle because (a) it doesn’t matter now because the wins and the playoffs are in the bank; and (b) it’s been beaten to death. However, to say that the 2012 Baltimore Orioles have not been the beneficiaries of good fortune and all manner of happy shiny phenomenon would be to miss the essence of the season.  And as far as I’m concerned, it’s what makes it all the more special and fun.

In other news: if your team isn’t playing the O’s in a playoff series, how can you not root for them?

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.