As first reported by Jason Beck of MLB.com, the Twins have claimed outfielder Clete Thomas off waivers from the Tigers. Scott Baker was transferred the 60-day disabled list in order to clear a spot on the Twins’ 40-man roster, but they still need to make a corresponding roster move to add him to the active roster.
Thomas owns a .253/.336/.391 batting line over 443 plate appearances in the majors, but he hasn’t really done anything at the big league level since 2009. The 28-year-old missed most of the 2010 season following knee surgery and spent the entire 2011 season with Triple-A Toledo. He appeared in three games with the Tigers this season before being designated for assignment on Wednesday, but didn’t have a plate appearance.
It seems like a pretty boring transaction on the surface, but since Thomas is capable of playing center field, one wonders if the Twins will be inclined to send Ben Revere down the minors. The 23-year-old only has 11 at-bats entering today’s action, so it might be best for him to be in a position to play everyday.
Fellow second basemen Javier Baez of the Cubs and D.J. LeMahieu of the Rockies got into a disagreement in the top of the third inning of Sunday’s game at Coors Field over sign-stealing.
LeMahieu reached on a fielder’s choice ground out, then advanced to second base on Charlie Blackmon‘s single. While Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story were batting, Baez was concerned that LeMahieu was relaying the Cubs’ signs to his teammates. Baez decided to stand in front of LeMahieu to block any information he might have been giving to Arenado and Story. LeMahieu got irritated and the two jawed at each other for a bit. Umpires Vic Carapazza and Greg Gibson had to intervene to tell Baez to knock it off.
There has always been a back-and-forth with alleged sign-stealing. As long as teams aren’t using technology to steal signs, it’s fair game for players to relay information to their teammates about the opposing team’s signs. Last year, MLB determined the Red Sox went against the rules and used technology — an Apple watch in this case — to steal signs from the Yankees. Other teams in the past have been accused of using binoculars from the bullpen to steal signs. In this particular case with Baez and LeMahieu, there was no foul play going on, just Baez trying to make the Rockies cede what he perceived to be their slight competitive advantage.
The Cubs went on to beat the Rockies 9-7 on Sunday.