Max Scherzer and the Tigers clear the air

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Last weekend the Tigers took the unusual step of calling out Max Scherzer — however implicitly — as being greedy when they announced that he has rejected the team’s offer of a contract extension. That sort of thing turns fans against a player and can put a player on the defensive.

According to the Detroit Free Press, however, Scherzer and the Tigers had a meeting to clear the air:

“[GM Dave Dombrowski] told me he wanted to make sure he conveyed to fans that he was doing his job and he could see how some things put me in a negative context,” Scherzer said after his final spring-training start today. “That wasn’t his intent, but that’s just how it came across. He apologized for that.”

Scherzer got a big ovation from fans at his last spring training game too. And now that Miguel Cabrera’s massive contract extension has blown Scherzer off the front page, the issue is likely settled.

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.