Bob Brenly won’t return to Cubs broadcasts in 2013

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There’s been speculation for the past few weeks that Bob Brenly might leave the WGN booth for an opening as a broadcaster for the Diamondbacks.

And it appears we’re indeed headed that way.

According to ESPNChicago.com, Brenly informed the Cubs on Wednesday that he will not be back in 2013 and will “seek another baseball broadcasting position.” As in, the one in Phoenix, Arizona.

The 59-year-old Brenly, who had been with WGN since 2004, won a World Series as manager of the Diamondbacks in 2001. He was in the team’s broadcast booth for their debut season in 1998.

“Bob Brenly was a tremendous part of the Chicago Cubs broadcast team for eight years and we will miss his smart analysis, as well as his outgoing personality in the broadcast booth,” Cubs president of business operations Crane Kenney wrote in a statement. “We wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”

Brenly’s former partner at WGN, Len Kasper, offered support about an hour ago on Twitter:

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.