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Rays sign Adam Moore to minor-league deal

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Free agent catcher Adam Moore has signed a minor-league contract with the Rays, according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN. The deal includes an invitation to spring training, where Moore will presumably be in the mix for a backup role behind Wilson Ramos and Jesus Sucre. The club has yet to confirm the deal.

Moore, 33, has not appeared in a major league role since 2016. He played a full season for the Indians’ Triple-A affiliate in 2017, batting a limp .238/.313/.369 with eight home runs and a .682 OPS in 276 plate appearances. There’s nothing to suggest that he’ll luck into a full-time gig with the Rays in 2018, as he hasn’t seen more than 30 games at the big league level since his 60-game stint with the 2010 Mariners.

The Rays are expected to push forward with a Ramos/Sucre platoon this season, but could get some value out of Moore as an emergency backup option. They also have less polished options in 22-year-old backstop Nick Ciuffo, who ranked no. 27 among the club’s top prospects in 2017, and 23-year-old Brett Sullivan, who transitioned to a role behind the plate in 2016 and is still waiting for his defense to catch up to the .294 average he debuted in the minors last year.

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.