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Joe Girardi on Yankees: ‘I thought I’d be back’


Joe Girardi gave his first in-depth interview since being dismissed by the New York Yankees the other day. It was to Ken Rosenthal at The Athletic. While that’s a subscription site, this story is open to anyone to read until 8AM Eastern tomorrow morning.

In the interview, Girardi said that he was “surprised” that the Yankees let his contract expire and let him leave:

“I was surprised. With the year that we had and the progress the team had made, I thought I would be back. Obviously, there is a ton of talent there, a ton of great young talent. I was excited about that. I thought I’d be back.”

That aside, there is nothing controversial or combative in the interview. Girardi seems to be pretty zen about it all, more thankful that he had ten years in New York than upset at the fact that his time is over. He thanked Hal Steinbrenner specifically for telling him that, whenever he feels like coming back to be a larger part of the Yankees family in some other role, he can give him a call. Girardi, for his part, said that would come later, though, as he still wants to manage someplace. Not that there are any openings right now aside from the Yankees gig.

Girardi also tells Rosenthal that he’s opening to doing TV. My guess is that, until managers start getting fired next season, that’s where we’ll be seeing Girardi.

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.