Before becoming Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow spent years running the Cardinals’ farm system and today he acquired one of his former first-round picks, Tyler Greene, from St. Louis.
Greene was the 30th overall pick in the 2005 draft out of Georgia Tech, but is now 28 years old and hasn’t hit in the majors with a lifetime .218 batting average and .624 OPS in 227 games.
Not surprisingly it didn’t take much for Luhnow to add him to the Astros’ infield mix, with a player to be named later or cash heading back to St. Louis in the deal.
Greene hasn’t done much to suggest that he’s capable of being more than a mediocre utility man, although in between the big-league ineptitude he did hit .323 with 14 homers and a 1.001 OPS in 66 games at Triple-A last season.
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.