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Delino DeShields defends the Rangers in the scheduling controversy

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As you likely saw by now, the Texas Rangers and Houston Astros will play their midweek series in Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg. This was decided after the Rangers declined to swap series with the Astros, allowing the teams to play in Arlington this week and play in Houston in late September.

Last night Bill wrote about how the Rangers’ decision has rankled some people. Specifically, it has rankled Astros executive Reid Ryan as well as a lot of Astros fans. As Bill wrote, it’s a little more complicated than the Rangers simply saying “no” as there are a lot of logistical issues connected to a swap, most of which would hurt the Rangers and their fans. Still, there are and likely will remain hard feelings on the Astros’ side of this.

Into that wades Rangers outfielder Delino DeShields, who took to Twitter in the wee hours this morning to defend the Rangers:

Would it have been good if this series had been moved to Texas instead of Florida? For sure. If they had it could’ve served as a nice moment for Texas as recovery efforts carry on. It’s the plan I endorsed yesterday. But it’s also the case that what goes into such decisions is a lot more complicated than what outsiders like us assume and it’s understandable that the Rangers didn’t want to do that. Not because they’re cruel and heartless, but because it’s a baseball and a business decision. One which does not hinder those efforts in any way or negatively affect people who are in need of help. Baseball is not a priority right now.

All that being said, a lot of series have been moved to neutral sites due to weather and disasters over the past decade or so and everything usually turns out fine. It will this time too.

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.