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Padres sign Erick Aybar to minor-league deal

The veteran will compete for San Diego’s starting role in spring training.

MLB: Kansas City Royals at Detroit Tigers Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Padres have reached a minor-league deal with shortstop Erick Aybar, according to Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan.

Aybar will compete with Luis Sardinas for the Padres’ starting shortstop job in spring training. San Diego has had a clear need at the position for the better part of two years, with the signing of Alexei Ramirez proving to be a failure last season.

Aybar, 33, split last year between the Braves and Tigers, being traded to Detroit in a waiver-wire deal in August. He hit a combined .243/.303/.623 with three homers over 126 games on the season, but performed well late in the season after a sluggish start.

Aybar is the latest veteran to join San Diego this winter, joining Jhoulys Chacin, Trevor Cahill and Clayton Richard. The Padres are known to have some interest in bringing in Jake Peavy and/or Jered Weaver on non-guaranteed deals as spring training approaches.

Aybar is a veteran of 11 major-league seasons with the Angels (2006-15), Braves (2016) and Padres (2016), owning a lifetime .273/.314/.373 line with 51 homers in that span. He was an All-Star with the Halos in 2014.