MLB investigating homophobic message sent from Derek Holland’s Twitter account

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According to Janie McCauley of the Associated Press, Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said earlier this evening that MLB is investigating a homophobic message sent from Derek Holland’s Twitter account to a heckler last night.

The tweet, which has since been deleted, was posted during the second game of yesterday’s doubleheader against the Angels in which Holland allowed seven runs over 6 2/3 innings as part of an 8-7 win. MLB prohibits players from using social media 30 minutes before a game or during a game.

Holland told Keith Whitmire of FOXSportsSouthwest.com that his fiancee has access to his Twitter account, but claims that the offensive message was the result of a hacker.

“It’s obvious it was not me,” Holland said. “It was during the game, for one. And for two, I’m in the dugout cheering my teammates on. Why would I say that anyway to begin with?”

“It’s definitely a hacker,” Holland said. “Obviously my fiancée can get into it, but trust me, she’s not like that. She’s one of the nicest people in the world.”

It’s not clear when MLB’s investigation will be complete, but Daniels called it a “serious issue” and an “unacceptable term to use.” The tweet was posted less than two weeks after Blue Jays shortstop Yunel Escobar was suspended three games for displaying a homophobic slur written in Spanish on his eye black.

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.