The reports from late last night are apparently true. Jon Heyman reports that Terry Francona has managed his last game in Boston. No sense yet if it will be couched as a resignation or the Red Sox deciding not to pick up his 2012 option or Francona requesting that they not do it or whatever. There will be an announcement from the team later today, though, so we should get the story then.
Matthew touched on the ridiculousness of the Sox wanting Francona gone here and the lack of readily-identifiable replacements here. I did some of that yesterday and I talked a bit about Red Sox’ team chemistry — the reported basis for the Francona-hate today — here.
We’ll obviously have more on this as people in official capacities begin to speak and leak about it.
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.