I have no words. Aaron’s analysis is here. Here are the winners:
C: Joe Mauer
1B: Mark Teixeira
2B: Robinson Cano
SS: Derek Freakin’ Jeter
OF: Ichiro Suzuki
OF: Carl Crawford
OF: Franklin Gutierrez
P: Mark Buehrle
I suppose good arguments can be made for and against most of those guys, but I don’t see how anyone can call Derek Jeter the best defensive shortstop in the American League. Even the heartiest Jeter backers have given up vouching his defense in recent years. This is an inertia award, voted on by people who care less about actually honoring good defense than in honoring tenure and popularity and, maybe, in defensively perpetuating the erroneous belief that we never grow old, our skills never erode and that we never will die.
The thinking: “Hey, if Derek Jeter is still pickin’ it like gold in his mid-to-late 30s, I must be in my salad days! [whistle whistle whistle . . .]”
We’ll have more analysis on this as the day goes on. I, for one, am going to get a stiff drink in the hopes of forgetting this ever happened.
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.