It seemed likely that Colorado could find a taker for Eric Young Jr. after designating him for assignment last week and sure enough the Rockies traded the utility man to the Mets for right-hander Collin McHugh.
Young is far from an impact player, but as a switch-hitter with defensive versatility and blazing speed he’s plenty useful in a bench role and may even get a look in center field for the Mets.
McHugh has struggled in brief stints with the Mets and at 26 years old doesn’t have much upside, but he’s got a pretty solid track record in the minors and could be a decent back-of-the-rotation starter at some point. For now the Rockies have optioned him to Double-A, where McHugh has a 2.68 ERA in 168 career innings.
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.