Netherlands likely to add Kenley Jansen if they reach WBC finals

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If the Netherlands can win their semi-final game and advance to the World Baseball Classic finals they’ll likely add Dodgers reliever Kenley Jansen to the roster.

Jansen told Ken Gurnick of MLB.com that it’s “95 percent” he’d join the team despite offseason surgery for an irregular heartbeat. He’d stay in Dodgers camp until Sunday, fly to San Francisco for the WBC, and then fly back to Dodgers camp by Wednesday.

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly likes the idea: “He’s not missing anything and, actually, we think this will be good for him. He’ll get into competition and it will be a good scenario, as far as the competition and energy level, and the fact it will only be a couple of days.”

Before any of that happens the Netherlands would first have to defeat the Pool 2 winner in a game Monday night. Rangers prospect Jurickson Profar has already been added to the roster for that game.

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.