Don Mattingly and Andre Ethier downplay “heated dugout argument”

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Dodgers manager Don Mattingly and outfielder Andre Ethier got into what Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times described as “a heated dugout argument” during Saturday’s game, but a day later both parties downplayed the incident.

Here’s the manager:

The greatest thing is when you have guys like Andre, he can voice his opinion, I can voice mine and the next day we’re both adults and talking and no problems. It’s really, in a sense, family. You’re able to argue at home back and forth but at the end of the day, you love your kids. To me, I look at it like that–just family. You discuss something or it gets a little heated at that moment, at the end of the day we’re family.

And to prove that point, Dilbeck noted that Mattingly and Ethier “were in the team gym riding exercise bikes next to each other” Sunday morning, as if nothing happened.

The whole thing stemmed from Ethier not wanting to be removed from a 12-2 game, so (assuming that’s the full story) it was hardly a huge deal to begin with, but on-camera drama is always interesting.

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.