Brewers activate Ryan Braun, place Aramis Ramirez on disabled list

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The Brewers have activated outfielder Ryan Braun for tonight’s game against the Reds while third baseman Aramis Ramirez is back on the disabled list for the second time this season due to a left knee injury.

Braun has been sidelined since June 9 due to a right thumb contusion. The 29-year-old slugger has been making progress in recent days, but his return comes as a bit of a surprise, as he originally wasn’t expected to be activated until at least Thursday. While he is active for tonight’s game, Adam McCalvy of MLB.com notes that he will not be in the starting lineup.

Ramirez is headed back to the disabled list after he aggravated his knee while making a diving stop at third base during Saturday’s game against the Mets. The 35-year-old missed nearly a month of action between April and early May with a left knee sprain.

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.