Yasmani Grandal exits with injury to ACL & MCL

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Padres catcher Yasmani Grandal needed assistance leaving the field of play at Nationals Park this afternoon after Anthony Rendon aggressively slid into him at home plate in the bottom of the third inning. Rendon’s slide was clean as he was attempting to break up what could have been an inning-ending 3-2-3 double play. Grandal, unfortunately, was unable to put weight on his leg.

Grandal has been splitting time at catcher with Nick Hundley and has done an adequate job, hitting at about the league average. MLB.com’s Corey Brock suggests Rene Rivera could replace Grandal if a DL stint is required.

Brock tweeted the extent of Grandal’s injury:

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.