Rich Harden’s deal fell through over — wait for it — his medical records

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Seeing Rich Harden’s trade to the Red Sox go sideways late last night was rather surprising and rather odd, but now that we know the reason, it’s not that surprising after all:  the Red Sox called it off after looking at his medical records.

Shocking, I know. Here’s how WEEI’s Alex Speier reports it:

A review of medicals after an agreement on the parameters of the deal, according to a baseball source, led to uncertainty about what kind of contribution the Red Sox could expect from Harden down the stretch, and whether he would be able to make enough starts to justify the trade.

I’m sure that “because his medical records are as long as ‘War and Peace’ and as dense as ‘Ulysses’ thus no one in Boston could even get through them” had something to do with it too. They probably found sixteen types of fractures and strains that were heretofore unknown to medical science. I wouldn’t be shocked if there was also information suggesting that Harden has a vestigial twin or something. And that the vestigial twin is injured too.

Speier says that it is unlikely that talks between Boston and Oakland will resume, so this deal is more than mostly dead. It’s just dead.

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.