Phillies and Kyle Kendrick avoid arbitration on one-year deal

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The Phillies and right-hander Kyle Kendrick have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $7.675 million contract. The deal includes award bonuses.

Kendrick just finished up a two-year, $7.5 million extension and is arbitration-eligible for the final time this winter. The 29-year-old got off to an excellent start last season, but ended up with a 4.70 ERA over 182 innings before being shut down with shoulder inflammation. While his salary continues to rise, the Phillies see enough value to keep him around.

Kendrick projects to slot behind Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels in Philadelphia’s starting rotation in 2014. Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez and Roberto Hernandez are the top two candidates for the remaining spots.

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.