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Ryan Zimmerman becomes the all-time home run leader for the Expos-Nationals franchise

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There is some rare Monday afternoon baseball today, with the Reds and Nationals wrapping up their four-game series. The game has practically ended before it really got going, though, with the Nationals jumping out to a 5-0 lead in the top of the first inning. This following three games in which the Nats outscored Cincinnati 29-11. Not exactly a competitive exercise.

The big blow so far has been a Bryce Harper three-run homer. That was followed up by a Ryan Zimmerman solo shot. Though it counted for two fewer runs, Zimmerman’s homer was historic, as it was his 235th career dinger, all coming with the Nationals. That dinger puts him past Vladimir Guerrero’s 234 and makes Zimmerman the all-time home run leader for the Expos/Nationals franchise. Behind them come Andre Dawson (225), Gary Carter (220) and Tim Wallach (204).

It’s worth remembering that the Expos/Nats did not come into existence until 1969. The leaders for the other franchises which came into existence that year aren’t super gaudy either. The Seattle Pilots/Milwaukee Brewers leader is Ryan Braun with 296. The home run king of the Kansas City Royals is George Brett with 317. The leader for the San Diego Padres is Nate Colbert with a paltry 163.

Of course the Seattle Mariners didn’t begin play until 1977, and their leader — Ken Griffey Jr. — had 417 in their colors. The Colorado Rockies didn’t come into existence until 1993 and their homer leader is Todd Helton with 369. But let’s not hold that against Zimmerman, OK?

 

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.