Bo Jackson, Deion Sanders… Julian Edelman?

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The New England Patriots’ Julian Edelman is the NFL’s lone two-way player, having filled in admirably at cornerback in addition to his wide receiver duties last season. Apparently, that only scratches the surface of his versatility, though.

“He worked out for us at shortstop and took ground balls and fly balls, and he took batting practice with Group Four, and he just wowed us,” Blue Jays third base coach and infield instructor Brian Butterfield told WEEI.com. “He worked unbelievably hard, and was just soaked by the end of batting practice.”

Edelman hooked up with the Blue Jays through friend J.P. Arencibia. Working out with the team on Sunday, he hit five homers during batting practice, including two “absolute bombs” into the middle deck at Rogers Centre.

Butterfield lauded Edelman’s great footwork around the infield and said that of all the non-baseball players to work out with the Jays, he was “far and away the best I’ve seen by a pretty wide margin. He is a really good player.”

Of course, Edelman isn’t really going to try the two-sport thing. He’s not through with baseball just yet, though, as he is hoping to work out with the Red Sox someday soon.

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.