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Marlins sign Mike Aviles to a minor league deal

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The Marlins have signed utilityman Mike Aviles to a minor league contract, Tim Healey of the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports. Aviles will continue working in extended spring training for a few more games before reporting to Triple-A New Orleans.

Aviles, 36, played for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic, batting .600 with five singles, a triple, and three RBI in 10 at-bats. The veteran, however, remained unsigned until Sunday. Aviles played for the Tigers last year, but hit a meager .210/.258/.269 in 181 plate appearances.

The Marlins are dealing with injuries to two infielders, Martin Prado and Miguel Rojas, which could make Aviles a potential option. J.T. Riddle is the Marlins’ first option as a replacement.

Happy one-year anniversary of the Bryce Harper signing

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Last night Bill talked about how different this past offseason was than the one before as far as free agents go. This year all the big guys signed well before spring training and, Yasiel Puig aside, there aren’t many significant players left out on the market. It’s sort of how the hot stove season is supposed to go.

Last year, of course, was crazy. The two biggest free agents — Bryce Harper and Manny Machado — didn’t sign until February. In fact, Harper didn’t officially sign with Philly until March 2. One year ago today, however — February 28, 2019 — was the day the news of the impeding signing broke.

Over at NBC Sports Philly, they put together a video talking to Harper, Scott Boras, Matt Klentak and others who put the massive deal together. It gives you a sense of how the moving parts move in the runup to the biggest contract in baseball history.

It also gives you a sense of how much trouble Harper might’ve had had he gone with the other team who was in the bidding for him at the last minute: the Giants. Specifically, he keeps calling them “San Fran,” and if you know anyone from the Bay Area, you know just how much they hate it when people say “San Fran.” Don’t do that, folks.

Anyway here — apart from the tendering of a $330 million contract — is how Bryce Harper became a Phillie: