Twins, Red Sox interested in Korean pitcher Suk-Min Yoon

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Peter Gammons tweets that the Twins and Red Sox have shown interest in 27-year-old Korean free agent pitcher Suk-Min Yoon, and suggests the Giants would be a good fit for the right-hander as well. The Twins’ interest in Yoon, represented by Scott Boras, is interesting given that they have already spent a lot of money signing Ricky Nolasco, Phil Hughes, and Mike Pelfrey. The interest from the Red Sox makes a bit more sense.

Just about all of the foreign free agent focus has been on Japanese right-hander Masahiro Tanaka. Yoon isn’t of Tanaka’s caliber, but could be a relatively cheap and productive option for teams low on enthusiasm with the remaining free agents and low on interest in getting involved in the nine-figure Tanaka sweepstakes. Yoon, who was the MVP in 2011 in the Korean Baseball Organization, has pitched both as a starter and as a reliever, but he has been and will continue to be marketed as a starter.

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.