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Jorge Rondon signs one-year deal with Chunichi Dragons

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Not a month after signing right-handed reliever Jorge Rondon to a minor league deal, the White Sox released the righty to pursue a one-year contract with the Chunichi Dragons of NPB, according to Baseball America’s Matt Eddy. The signing was confirmed by the Dragons on Friday. Left-handers Jordan Norberto and Elvis Araujo have also signed with the club, reports The Japan Times.

Rondon appeared briefly for the Pirates in 2016, getting a midseason call-up and pitching through just 3 2/3 innings before returning to Triple-A Indianapolis to finish out the year. He recorded a 2.67 ERA and 12 saves through 57 1/3 innings in Indianapolis.

Per The Japan Times, the 28-year-old will receive ¥50 million (approximately $427,000), with incentives and signing fees of ¥20 million. The Dragons will utilize both Rondon and Araujo in the bullpen for the 2017 season.

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.