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Cubs sign Mike Freeman to a minor league deal

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This is not about to upset the balance of baseball power, but the Cubs signed a player today: utilityman Mike Freeman, who was inked to a minor league deal.

Freeman played 20 games between the Mariners and Dodgers this year. He was released by L.A. to make room for Yu Darvish. He has played every defensive position except catcher and center field in his 41-game big league career. He even pitched an inning of mopup duty for Seattle back in May. That versatility is kind of important given that he’s only 7-for-57.

Injury insurance I suppose.

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.