Stephen Drew cleared to resume baseball activities

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Stephen Drew has been sidelined by post-concussion symptoms since March 7, but the Red Sox shortstop has been cleared to resume baseball activities after being examined by a specialist in Pittsburgh.

There’s no timetable for his return to game action and Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe reports that once Drew does resume playing in games it’ll be on the minor-league side of camp so the Red Sox can potentially backdate a season-opening disabled list stint. If he were to play in a major-league spring game a DL stint could only be backdated to that point.

So good news overall for Drew, but his status for Opening Day remains in doubt and Jose Iglesias will probably be breaking camp with the Red Sox.

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.