Joey Votto has resumed light baseball activities

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Joey Votto is finally beginning to make some progress in his recovery from a severe quad strain.

According to MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon, the Reds first baseman began taking dry swings and throwing lightly on Tuesday afternoon — his first baseball-related activities since receiving platelet-rich plasma treatment on his injured left leg back in late July.

Votto has already been sidelined for two full months and isn’t going to be able to make it back before mid-September, so it’s possible that the Reds — who are now 10 games back of the Brewers in the National League Central standings — might shut him down at some point. Votto is owed $206 million through 2023 with a $20 million club option (or $7 million buyout) for 2024. He was sporting a career-worst .799 OPS in 62 games this season before landing on the DL.

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.