Matt Garza gets good news on elbow injury

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Matt Garza’s elbow injury kept the Cubs from being able to trade him and then kept him from pitching in August and September, but it won’t keep him from a normal offseason routine.

Garza had his elbow scanned by doctors earlier this week and Carrie Muskat of MLB.com reports that he was given a clean bill of health.

Garza is arbitration eligible for the final time in 2013 and will be a free agent after the season, so expect the trade rumors to start swirling again if he looks healthy in the early going.

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.