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Rangers third base coach Tony Beasley diagnosed with cancer

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Some unpleasant news on the first day of Rangers camp on Friday, as Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that third base coach Tony Beasley was recently diagnosed with rectal cancer. Fortunately, it has been described as treatable and the belief is that it was caught in the early stages.

Beasley plans to report to Rangers camp on Saturday and remain with the team during his fight. He will begin chemotherapy while in Arizona for spring training.

The diagnosis obviously hit the Rangers family hard and that’s especially the case for manager Jeff Banister, who has a long history with Beasley. But it also goes beyond that, as Banister battled bone cancer as a teenager.

“I consider Tony as much a family member as anything else,” Banister said. “This one has been a challenge for me.”

Below is a video featuring some of the reaction at Rangers camp yesterday:

Our thoughts are with Tony for his fight.

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.