Marlins still “actively shopping” Ricky Nolasco and Dodgers still “appear to be the frontrunner”

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Last week the Marlins were said to be “aggressively trying to move” Ricky Nolasco and several reports pegged the Dodgers as the favorites to land him … and not much has changed.

Nolasco is Miami’s scheduled starter tonight and Joe Frisaro of MLB.com reports that “the Marlins have been actively shopping Nolasco and a deal could possibly get done prior to first pitch.” As for the Dodgers, according to Frisaro they still “appear to be the frontrunner among more than a half-dozen teams.”

At this point everyone seems fully convinced that Nolasco will be traded before July 31 and the sooner the Marlins unload him the more money they can save from his $11.5 million contract. Or, put another way: Every start Nolasco makes costs the Marlins about $350,000. Last time out they got five innings of six-run ball for that money.

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.