UPDATE: Done deal. Two years and “between $5 and $6 million.”
Let go by the Mets last month when the two sides couldn’t agree to a new contract before a sign-or-cut deadline, left-hander Hisanori Takahashi is “close to agreeing to a multi-year deal with the Angels,” writes David Waldstein of the New York Times.
According to various reports at the time the Mets were offering only a one-year deal, while Takahashi was holding out for a multi-year offer that he apparently found with the Angels.
Takahashi started and relieved for the Mets as a 35-year-old rookie, but Waldstein indicates that the Angels are likely to use him in the bullpen. He went 10-6 with a 3.61 ERA in 122 innings overall, including 6-2 with a 2.04 ERA, .206 opponents’ batting average, and 60/22 K/BB ratio in 57 innings as a reliever.
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.