David Ortiz says Pedro Martinez will pitch again

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A report yesterday said the Mets aren’t interested in signing Pedro Martinez, but the 38-year-old future Hall of Famer is definitely planning to pitch for someone this season. At least according to his friend David Ortiz, who told the New York Post: “He will. Somebody will need him at one point. At some point.”
Ortiz spoke to Martinez about a month ago, at which point he was working out in the Dominican Republic and Miami but “wasn’t really talking to” any MLB teams yet. The assumption has been that re-signing with Philadelphia would be Martinez’s first choice after he went 5-1 with a 3.63 ERA in nine starts for the Phillies last year.
However, they may not have a rotation need this time around if J.A. Happ returns soon from a forearm injury. Of course, with all their bullpen issues perhaps the Phillies would consider signing Martinez for the rotation with an eye toward bumping Happ back into a relief role.
Based on what he showed in the second half last season Martinez definitely looks capable of helping contending teams as a mid-rotation starter, so it could come down to how picky he’ll be choosing a team and how demanding he’ll be when negotiating a prorated contract. Or it might just come down to whether or not the Phillies are interested again.

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.