The Royals dealt closer Jonathan Broxton to the Reds about 30 minutes before this afternoon’s trade deadline. And now it’s time for a fresh face to begin handling save opportunities in Kansas City.
Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star spoke Tuesday with Royals manager Ned Yost, who named Greg Holland the club’s next ninth-inning man.
Holland hasn’t recorded a save this season, but the 26-year-old right-hander has a 3.19 career ERA and has fanned 153 batters in 118 1/3 MLB innings. He possesses a dominant arsenal, and is capable of shining down the stretch.
The Royals’ return for Broxton was lefty Donnie Joseph, who has a 1.72 ERA and 68/17 K/BB ratio in 52 1/3 innings this season in the minors, and J.C. Sulbaran, a right-hander whose numbers are less inspiring.
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.