Josh Thole to get a crack at the Mets' catching job

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The Newark Star-Ledger reported today that Josh Thole will
compete with Omir Santos to be the Mets’ starting catcher. Omar Minaya:

“I
think Thole is going to compete for a job in spring training. We’ll see how he plays coming off a very good year. He led the
league in hitting in Venezuela (winter ball). With Thole, where is he?
Do we rush him? Does he take the job?”

You’ll recall a few weeks ago that Jerry Manuel had said that Santos would be his preferred number one.  Hopefully Minaya’s comments here control the situation and, rather than handing the sure-to-be-godawful Santos, Thole is given a chance.  Thole is younger, for one thing. And unlike Santos — who has a career .258/.304/.348 line in many, many minor league seasons — Thole has shown some on-base skills in the minors.

Padres sign Jordan Lyles

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The Padres announced on Sunday that the club signed pitcher Jordan Lyles to a one-year major league contract with a club option for 2019. According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, Lyles will earn $750,000 in 2018. Pitcher Travis Wood was designated for assignment to create room on the 40-man roster for Lyles.

Lyles, 27, had miserable results between the Rockies and Padres last season, compiling an aggregate 7.75 ERA with a 55/22 K/BB ratio over 69 2/3 innings. While he specifically gave up 24 earned runs in 23 innings across five starts with the Padres, it was a small sample. A full season at the pitcher-friendly Petco Park, as opposed to Colorado’s Coors Field, might help revitalize his career.

Wood, 30, went to the Padres at the non-waiver trade deadline from the Royals this past season. Overall, the lefty posted an aggregate 6.80 ERA with a 65/45 K/BB ratio in 94 innings. He’ll earn $6.5 million this season and has an $8 million mutual option with a $1 million buyout for 2019. So, the Padres are just eating $7.5 million minus the league minimum, assuming Wood latches on elsewhere.