Reds close to re-signing outfielder Ryan Ludwick

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Ryan Ludwick is apparently staying in Cincinnati.

Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports reports that the Reds are “getting close on a deal” for the veteran outfielder. It’s likely for two years and a little under $20 million.

Ludwick batted .275/.346/.531 with 26 home runs and 80 RBI in 125 games this past season for the National League Central-champion Reds. The 34-year-old owns a .799 career OPS in the majors.

Ludwick was said to be holding out for a three-year offer but apparently did not receive one.

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UPDATE, 11:37 PM: MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon was told that Passan’s report is “not so true.”

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.