Casey McGehee is in the best shape of his life

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Even though we’re in the middle of Winter Meetings hysteria, there’s still plenty of time to pay attention to the sorts of matters which normally occupy this blog. For example: have you heard that Casey McGehee is in the best shape of his life?

[Barry] Meister said he also now is representing Brewers third baseman Casey McGehee, who certainly is a good pick-up for an agent. Meister said McGehee has been focusing on physical fitness this off-season and plans to come to spring training in his best shape ever.

The manager press availabilities will start again soon here in Orlando. It’s nice to have a good cliche appetizer like this before their cliche main course is served.

(thanks to Matt J. for the head’s up)

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.