Shi Davidi of Sportsnet says that Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos is saying that Mark DeRosa is retiring.
DeRosa lasted longer than a lot of people thought he might. Sixteen seasons, to be exact, with time spent in Atlanta, Texas, Chicago, San Francisco, Washington, Cleveland St. Louis and Toronto. A utility guy for the most part, DeRosa spent the most time at second and third base, but saw stints in the outfield, first base and even 140 games at short.
DeRosa had only four seasons in which he had over 500 plate appearances, but he timed them right, parlaying some good years as a starter into two pretty nice free agent contracts. One from the Cubs after the 2006 season and one from the Giants following the 2009 campaign. As for batting, he finishes his career with a line of .268/.340/.412 with an even 100 homers and 494 RBI.
An Ivy Leaguer, DeRosa has a reputation for being a smart cookie and a good clubhouse guy. He has also dipped his toe into broadcasting, and there’s a very good shot that his retirement was spurred on by a good offer to make that his regular gig. Perhaps with the Cubs.
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.