The Toronto Blue Jays have agreed to terms on a one-year deal with Josh Thole, the club announced.
Thole, 29, will recieive a total of $800,000 over the upcoming season. Thole was non-tendered by the Blue Jays yesterday just hours before the midnight deadline, making him a free agent.
Thole has been the catcher for RHP R.A. Dickey for the past three seasons in Toronto, who acquired the two alongside Mike Nickeas as well. Nickeas, also a catcher, was acquired in a trade with the New York Mets in exchange for John Buck and prospects Travis d'Arnaud, Noah Syndergaard and Wuilmer Becerra.
The trade for Thole in 2012 came almost a month after the team's 12-player blockbuster with the Miami Marlins. The deal with Miami brought over right-hander Josh Johnson, left-hander Mark Buehrle, shortstop Jose Reyes and sent right-hander Henderson Alvarez, catcher Jeff Mathis, shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria, left-hander Justin Nicolino, outfielder Jake Marsinick and other minor league stars to the Marlins.
Thole was not given much major league service last season as Russell Martin took over the catching duties after a five-year contract worth $82 million was agreed on between Martin and the Blue Jays. As Thole was arbitration eligible for the first time this offseason, he was projected to make a slary of $1.8 million via arbitration in which has saved Toronto approximittely $1 million by letting him go and re-signing him.
During 2015, he played in only 18 games having hit with a slash line of .204/.250/.245 with 2 RBI's in 52 plate appearances. For his career, the 29-year-old owns a batting line of .249/.319/.314 with eight home runs and 104 RBI.
As for his role for 2016, he will continue to catch Dickey every fifth day as for the way in which he did last season and will be brought in on occassion where he could have the oppurtunity to catch someone like left-handed pitcher J.A. Happ, who he had the chance to catch while giving an off day to Martin. As for the big league club's rotation for the year, it will be made up of Dickey, Happ, Marcus Stroman, Drew Hutchison and Jesse Chavez.