The Brewers talking to Prince Fielder already

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UPDATE: Tom Haudricort confirms that the Brewers met with Boras yesterday to talk about a Fielder extension. No offer was made, but the fact that they’re even talking now is unusual for a high-profile Boras client.

5:15 P.M.: Brewers’ beat writer Adam McCalvy noted some strange behavior by the Milwaukee brass (Milwaukee brass?) today:

Brewers general manager Doug Melvin and assistant GM Gord Ash
returned to camp on Thursday after an absence all day Wednesday. Asked
specifically whether it had anything to do with Fielder, Melvin said
only “we took a little trip.” Asked where that trip took him, Melvin said again: “We took a little trip.”

Ash wouldn’t dish, either, joking to a reporter that, “we don’t have to tell you guys everything.”

McCalvy speculates that they were off meeting Scott Boras at some undisclosed location to discuss Prince Fielder’s contract. I suppose that’s entirely possible. It’s also entirely possible that they all just “took a little trip” to the ladies room to powder their noses.

At least that’s the rumor I’m going to start spreading unless someone in the know gives me the dirt on what would be an unprecedentedly early contract negotiation for a Scott Boras client.

Tigers sign Josh Thole to minors deal

Josh Thole
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The Tigers signed catcher Josh Thole to a minor league deal, per an announcement from the Double-A Erie SeaWolves on Friday. Thole is expected to report to Double-A Erie, where he’ll split time with starting catcher Jake Rogers.

Thole, 31, has not appeared in a major or minor league game since 2016. He signed a minors deal with the Diamondbacks back in 2017, but was sidelined through most of the season after undergoing hamstring surgery in April. He was released by the team during spring training and failed to catch on with another major league club through the first two months of the 2018 season.

While the veteran backstop hasn’t tested his skills in pro ball for several years now, he held his own during a short-lived run with the independent New Britain Bees of the Atlantic League. Over 17 games in 2018, Thole batted .317/.425/.367 with three extra-base hits and a .791 OPS in 75 plate appearances. He’s expected to serve as catching depth within the Tigers’ organization, but may yet work his way back to the majors if he can get his average back over the Mendoza Line again — a feat he hasn’t managed since 2015.