Rangers acquire Andres Blanco from Cubs

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Here’s a minor transaction, as the Rangers have acquired infielder Andres Blanco from the Cubs for a player to be named later or cash considerations.

Blanco, who turns 26 in April, batted .252/.303/.341 with one home run and 12 RBI in 123 at-bats for the Cubs last season. He was out of options and from what I understand, he didn’t figure into the team’s plans this season. With experience at second base and shortstop in the majors, he could hang on as the utility type Texas has been looking for since they voided Khalil Greene’s contract in February.

Probably the most significant thing to come out of this, Carrie Muskat of MLB.com believes that the trade of Blanco could open a spot on the roster for Kevin Millar and Chad Tracy, both of whom are non-roster invitees.

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.