Jose Reyes: “Playing on the turf every day is going to beat up your body”

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Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com wrote a lengthy Jose Reyes article about how the Blue Jays shortstop plans to be healthier and more productive and more active on the bases this season. Pretty standard “spring training optimism” stuff, but it includes Reyes’ thoughts about playing on Toronto’s turf and they were pretty interesting:

The 30-year-old said “it wasn’t good” when asked to describe his experience with the turf, but then also quickly pointed out that despite all of the preseason concerns, his hamstrings never became an issue and the ankle injury happened away from Rogers Centre. …

“People know that playing on the turf every day is tough,” Reyes said. “But as a player, it is what it is. We have to play in there, so you have to find a way … so you can stay on the field and adjust to the turf. It’s not in anybody’s mind. Playing on the turf every day is going to beat up your body.”

Reyes missed 69 games, attempted just 21 steals, and perhaps most tellingly hit zero triples after topping double-digit triples in seven of the past eight seasons, including leading his league four times. However, it should also be noted that he essentially matched his career numbers offensively when healthy enough to be in the Blue Jays’ lineup. His bat wasn’t the issue.

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.