Wilson Ramos is “ready to go” after hamate surgery

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Expected to miss 4-8 weeks following April 2 hamate bone surgery, Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos declared himself “ready to go” while in Washington to take batting practice today.

Ramos told James Wagner of the Washington Post that he hopes to be in the lineup tomorrow, which would be his first game action since Opening Day.

Ramos has had horrible injury luck early in his career, so hopefully he can rejoin the Nationals and stay problem-free for a while. At age 26 he’s hit .269 with 35 homers and a .767 OPS through 239 career games, showing some of the best offensive potential of any catcher in the league. Hamate injuries often lead to decreased power initially, though, which is Ramos’ main calling card as a hitter.

Jose Lobaton and Sandy Leon have split time fairly evenly in Ramos’ absence without producing much. Lobaton figures to stick around as the backup.

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.