Rangers send top prospect Jurickson Profar to Triple-A

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At various points this offseason there was speculation about how the Rangers could clear room in the lineup for stud middle infield prospect Jurickson Profar, but no trades were ever made and today they assigned him to Triple-A.

Profar is only 20 years old and jumped from Double-A to the majors for his MLB debut in September, so a little time at Triple-A will probably do him some good even if almost everyone seems to think he’s just about ready to thrive in the big leagues.

Profar hit .281 with 14 homers, 16 steals, and an .820 OPS at Double-A last season, which is incredible for a 19-year-old shortstop and got him ranked by both Baseball America and MLB.com as MLB’s top overall prospect.

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.