Brewers signing Zack Greinke is “a long shot” despite chat with general manager

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Brewers general manager Doug Melvin admitted yesterday that he recently chatted on the phone with Zack Greinke, leading to speculation that the free agent returning to Milwaukee might be possible.

Melvin stressed that he simply likes talking baseball with Greinke–which is something he’s said in the past as well–and added that the right-hander “didn’t tip his hand” in terms of a potential landing spot.

As for the rumors, Adam McCalvy of MLB.com writes that they’re much like the previous rumors linking the Brewers to Josh Hamilton, calling them both “a long shot.”

Melvin himself downplayed the chances of signing Hamilton and McCalvy notes that the Brewers “are in the process of paring payroll after pushing over $100 million last season for the first time in club history.”

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.