Mets “making a run at signing” free agent Cody Ross

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From ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick comes word that the Mets “have an interest” in free agent outfielder Cody Ross and “are making a run at signing him.”

Ross went into this offseason in search of a three-year contract, but he has scaled back those expectations in recent weeks and might be resigned to accepting a one-year deal with a fairly low base salary if no other teams get seriously involved.

The Mets aren’t exactly the best fit given that they’re trying to rebuild and already have a host of mediocre outfielders, but Ross can be effective when used correctly. The 31-year-old has averaged 21 home runs per 162 games in his eight-year major league career and holds a .912 career OPS against left-handed pitchers.

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.