Eric Hinske was hoping to land a two-year deal after playing for six different teams during the past five seasons, but instead Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports that he’s deciding between one-year offers from the Braves and Brewers.
Hinske fared well as a part-time player for the Braves this season, hitting .256/.338/.456 with 11 homers in 320 plate appearances while earning $1 million, and Bowman notes that “Atlanta’s offer is believed to be worth $1.5 million.”
No word yet on what Milwaukee is willing to pay, but the Brewers also view Hinske as a part-time player and he’s from Appleton, Wisconsin.
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.