Derek Jeter has been cleared to play catch

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From Andy McCullough of the Newark Star-Ledger:

NEW YORK – Derek Jeter emerged from the Yankees dugout around 4:45 p.m. on Wednesday, intent on completing his first on-field activity since an April examination revealed a second fracture in his left ankle. While his teammates took batting practice, Jeter played catch.

“I thought I would be back a long time ago,” Jeter said later in a chat with reporters. “I’m almost about out of patience. But I’m trying.”

The veteran shortstop is hoping to begin fielding grounders within the next few days and is on track to begin swinging a bat at some point next week. Jeter, who suffered a broken left ankle last October and cracked it again in mid-April, is currently aiming to return to the Yankees’ active roster shortly after the All-Star break.

Yankees shortstops have hit just .214/.288/.289 this season. Jeter batted .316/.362/.429 in 2012.

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.