Alfredo Aceves is doing his best to build a terrible relationship with a second straight Red Sox manager, but so far at least there are no reports of Boston being fed up enough to part ways with the reliever.
However, like all arbitration-eligible players who signed one-year deals to avoid a hearing Aceves’ contract is not fully guaranteed.
If released by March 13 the Red Sox would owe Aceves just one-sixth of his deal, which would take them off the hook for $2.2 million of his $2.65 million salary. And if the Red Sox waited a little longer and released Aceves by March 27 they’d owe him one-fourth of the money, saving $1.9875 million.
Over the years there are a few cases of a team releasing a signed player under those rules, but it’s definitely not a common occurrence. Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com speculates that trading Aceves is a more likely option because he probably still has enough value to either get something in return or at least shed his entire salary.
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.