Mets recall Lucas Duda from Triple-A

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The Mets announced this morning that they have recalled Lucas Duda from Triple-A Las Vegas. In turn, Mike Baxter has been optioned back down to the minors.

Duda batted .235/.353/.438 with 11 home runs and 23 RBI through 68 games this season prior to landing on the disabled list with an oblique strain in late June. After completing a rehab assignment, the 27-year-old was optioned to Triple-A, where he hit .306 (19-for-62) with zero homers, three doubles and a 15/14 K/BB ratio over 18 games.

As Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com notes, because Duda was in the minors for less than 20 days after being optioned, the Mets will not lose his option status for this year. This means he will have one option left for 2014.

Duda primarily played first base while in Triple-A, but it’s unclear what role he’ll have now that he’s back with the big club. Ike Davis owns a .272/.435/.439 batting line in 41 games since returning from his demotion, though he’s currently in a 5-for-29 funk. While Eric Young, Jr. has struggled at the plate over the past month or so, the Mets probably don’t want to see Duda lumbering around in left field again.

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.