Scott Diamond had elbow surgery to remove bone chip

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As if the Twins’ rotation wasn’t in rough enough shape already, presumptive Opening Day starter Scott Diamond recently underwent surgery to remove a bone chip from his elbow.

General manager Terry Ryan said today that Diamond will not pitch for Canada in the World Baseball Classic, but is expected to be ready for spring training.

Diamond started 27 games for the Twins with a 3.54 ERA after beginning the season at Triple-A, but his weak strikeout rate of 4.7 per nine innings will make it tough for the 26-year-old left-hander to maintain that type of performance.

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.