Nationals not interested in Cal Ripken Jr. as manager

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A bunch of candidates have interviewed to replace Davey Johnson as Nationals manager, but Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reported previously that the team has no interest in Dusty Baker and now he says Cal Ripken Jr. “becoming an actual candidate for the job appears to be unrealistic” too.

Baker specifically reached out to the Nationals about the job and was shot down, whereas Ripken has simply talked in generalities about wanting to manage and has gotten some public support from Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth.

According to Kilgore “they have not reached out to Ripken about their managerial opening” and the Nationals are expected to name a new manager relatively soon after the World Series, so anyone who hasn’t already talked to them probably has no shot.

Report: Twins sign Erick Aybar to a 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.