Angels plan to keep rehabbing reliever Ryan Madson in the minor leagues for “several weeks”

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Ryan Madson was hoping to finally join the Angels’ bullpen this weekend. But that will not be happening.

According to beat writer Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times, the right-hander is going to spend “several weeks” on a minor league rehab assignment at Triple-A Salt Lake before being cleared to pitch in the major leagues. Madson thinks he’s ready right now, but he has experienced multiple setbacks in his nearly 14-month recovery from Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery and the Angels want to play this cautiously.

“I can pitch here today and get people out,” Madson told reporters Wednesday evening. “That’s just how I feel.”

The 32-year-old inked a one-year, $3.5 million free agent contract with the Halos this past winter. He was expected to open the season as their closer, but Ernesto Frieri is currently running away with that job.

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.