Art Howe would like to be considered for the Blue Jays manager job

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Art Howe hasn’t managed since 2004, but Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun caught up with him and he says, sure, he’d be interested if the Blue Jays called him:

Art Howe wants to be the next manager of your Toronto Blue Jays.

…“I want to manage again, the best thing I have going for me is my experience — seven years in the NL, seven in the AL,” said Howe, 65. “Toronto has always been an interesting team, they have some nice talent and were very competitive until they fell off with those injuries to their position players.

“The New York Yankees are a little long in the tooth, with 13 free agents. Toronto plays in the toughest division in baseball, but they are only a few pieces away from doing something.”

I don’t think that open lobbying like that will win him the job, but at least he’s honest.

The article is a good in general, by the way. Lots of stuff about the 2002 A’s, how he was misinterpreted in “Moneyball” and a general walk down memory lane.

Report: Twins sign Erick Aybar to 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.