Rafael Soriano got his visa, will report this weekend

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Bad news: the mocked-up milk carton of a missing Rafael Sorinao I made is no longer useful. Good news: it’s because he got his visa and is reporting to camp:

Nationals closer Rafael Soriano will not be absent for long. He was able to get his visa in the Dominican Republic on Friday and will report to Nats camp by Saturday, according to manager Davey Johnson. Pitchers and catchers were scheduled to report this past Wednesday.

I was talking to a baseball reporter offline about visa things and the Dominican Republic the other day. I asked him why these guys just don’t file their paperwork earlier. The response was that early’s got nothing to do with it and that getting stuff like that done in the Dominican Republic is like dealing with Information Retrieval in “Brazil.” It’s a wonder that more guys don’t get held up, actually.

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.