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Royals make qualifying offer to Eric Hosmer

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The Kansas City Royals extended a one-year, $17.2 million qualifying offer to first baseman Eric Hosmer.

Not surprising at all. Hosmer will certainly turn it down too, as he’s one of the top free agents on the market and is likely looking for a deal that pays him $20 million a year over a series of years. That will give a compensation pick to the Royals.

Hosmer, 28, hit .318/.385/.498 with 25 homers this season. He and fellow former Royals Lorenzo Cain and Mike Moustakas are all expected to get qualifying offers and are all expected to sign elsewhere this offseason.

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.