We weren’t expecting that: Jim Edmonds signs with the Cardinals

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When we heard that Jim Edmonds would soon be announcing his plans, we assumed that his plans included a retirement announcement.  Nope: dude just signed a minor league deal with the Cardinals.

Edmonds can still hit.  In 272 plate appearances last year he put up a nice little .276/.342/.504 line with 11 homers.  The problem, of course, is health.  He had all kinds of issues in that department, most notably with his Achilles tendon.

If he’s healthy, he’s one of the better backup outfielders in all of baseball and, heck, may be a better option in right than Lance Berkman (and may give Tony La Russa an excuse to bench Colby Rasmus some more!)  If not, no big loss seeing as though it’s just a minor league deal.

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.