As Aaron pointed out earlier today, the Mets have been working hard to get an extension on their deadline for contract talks with impending free agent Hisanori Takahashi. A clause in the left-hander’s contract states that a deal must be worked between the two sides by October 31 of this year, but Takahashi changed agents recently and the Mets have argued that they should now be granted more time to sort out negotiations.
That extension was granted late Thursday evening, according to David Waldstein of the New York Times.
It’s not exactly clear how long the Mets will have to work out a deal, but Waldstein adds that preliminary discussions have “already begun.”
Takahashi, 35, posted a solid 3.61 ERA and 1.30 WHIP this season, working as both a starter and reliever. He finished with 114 strikeouts in 122 innings and even saved eight games once closer Francisco Rodriguez was placed on the restricted list for assaulting his girlfriend’s father.
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.