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Cardinals extend $17.4 million qualifying offer to Lance Lynn


MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch reports that the Cardinals have extended a $17.4 million qualifying offer to starter Lance Lynn.

Lynn, 30, missed the entire 2016 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He came back and had a solid year this past season, making 33 starts with a 3.43 ERA and a 153/78 K/BB ratio in 186 1/3 innings. That would seem to lay to rest any doubt about his effectiveness post-surgery, though his velocity and peripherals saw marginal declines.

In the likely event Lynn rejects the qualifying offer, he will join a free agent pool that also includes starters Jake Arrieta, Yu Darvish, and Alex Cobb.

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.