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All nine players who received qualifying offers will reject them

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Jon Heyman reports that all nine of the players who received qualifying offers — Carlos Santana of the Indians, Mike MoustakasEric Hosmer, and Lorenzo Cain of the Royals, Lance Lynn of the Cardinals, Alex Cobb of the Rays, Greg Holland of the Rockies, and Jake Arrieta and Wade Davis of the Cubs — will reject them.

The qualifying offer is extended by the last club to employ free agents and guarantees them a one-year contract at $17.4 million if they accept it. Players who received a qualifying offer have until November 16 to accept or reject the offer. If they reject, the team gets draft pick compensation and the club which signs one of the free agents loses a pick.

It’s not surprising that the current free agents to whom offers were extended will reject them.

Moustakas and Hosmer are both under 30 and can expect multi-year offers. Santana and Cain are each above average everyday players who can likewise expect to find better deals than 1-year, $17.4 million. Pitching is always at a premium on the open market, so a former Cy Young winner like Arrieta, a couple of 30-year-old starters like Lynn and Cobb and a couple of top closers in Davis and Holland should do OK too.

If Heyman is right about this, it will be the first time since 2014 when no one has accepted an offer. Five players have accepted qualifying offers in the past: Jeremy Hellickson and Neil Walker last year and Colby RasmusMatt Wieters and Brett Anderson in 2015.

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.