Report: Cubs calling up prospect infielder Addison Russell

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The future is now in Chicago. Just days after the Cubs promoted top prospect Kris Bryant, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that the club will call up prospect infielder Addison Russell.

The 21-year-old Russell has mostly been a shortstop in the minors and it’s still considered his best position for the long-term, but FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal hears that he’s being called up to play second base. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, as Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com wrote on Monday that he has been playing second base of late with Triple-A Iowa in case there was a need with the big club. Tommy La Stella is currently on the disabled list with an oblique strain and Jonathan Herrera and Arismendy Alcantara have struggled, so it’s worth a shot. Of course, the Cubs currently have Starlin Castro at shortstop.

Russell, who was acquired from the Athletics last July in the Jeff Samardzija deal, was batting .318 (14-for-44) with one home run and an .803 OPS across his first 11 games in Triple-A this season and owns a .300/.376/.519 batting line in the minors. Baseball America ranked him as the No. 3 prospect in the game earlier this year.

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.