Thursday, January 30, 2020


It's not a big splashy move, but it is a low risk move and I can dig it. The Yankees just signed ex-Mets catcher Josh Thole to a minor league deal.

The New York Post writes:

"Thole, a career .242 hitter, joins Chris Iannetta and Erik Kratz as the Yankees’ catcher signings since Austin Romine signed with the Tigers. The Yankees are likely hoping none of them make the major leagues and will provide insurance behind Gary Sanchez and Kyle Higashioka."

Thole would make $600,000 if he makes it to the majors. Thole has not played in the major leagues since 2016 and has since spent time in the minor-league systems of the Tigers, Dodgers and Angels. The Yankees hope they won't have to use him but they definitely aren't taking any chances with their catching depth....and they shouldn't. I think the Yankees are going to miss Romine, he did play in 72 games last year because Gary Sanchez couldn't stay healthy. I like that the Yankees are being extra cautious now.

The Yankees should explore all options behind the plate. Romine's departure means Kyle Higashioka is most likely the Yankees new backup catcher unless something crazy happens in Spring Training. If he is, that leaves a lot of holes in the minors and adding both Iannetta and Kratz gives the Yankees the depth they have been lacking and Thole would be extra insurance. The Yankees filled a major need, so Brian Cashman just made another smart signing.

And who knows....maybe the Yankees aren't sold on Higashioka as the backup catcher all year. It's hard to imagine anyone besides Romine there honestly, so if nothing else this just creates some healthy competition for the season. There's nothing wrong with a little healthy competition, it will keep the guys hungry. We all have high expectations for this team now, so a little extra motivation can't hurt.

The Yankees are rebuilt, retooled and ready for a championship this season. Cashman is doing everything he can to give us the tools we need to succeed and I dig it. Nice move, Cash!

--Jeana Bellezza-Ochoa
BYB Managing Editor
Twitter: @nyprincessj 

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