Evan Longoria scratched Sunday with flu-like symptoms

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Untimely development here for the Rays, who have a half-game hold on the top spot in the crowded and ever-changing American League Wild Card race.

Evan Longoria has been scratched from the lineup for Sunday’s game against the Orioles due to flu-like symptoms, as first reported by Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. Topkin says Longoria “hasn’t been feeling well for a few days,” which hopefully means that he is about done battling this illness.

Kelly Johnson will start at third place in his place.

Longoria, 27, is hitting .263/.340/.485 with 29 home runs, 36 doubles and 77 RBI in 152 games this season for the Rays.

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.