The Diamondbacks have agreed to a minor-league deal with catcher Josh Thole, according to Jon Heyman of Fan Rag (via Twitter). His potential salary and other terms have not been reported at this time.
Thole, 30, had spent the last four years with the Blue Jays after an equivalent stint with the Mets. He went with knuckleballer R.A. Dickey in the 2012 swap between those organizations, and continued to function as Dickey’s personal catcher in Toronto.
Though he rates as a high-quality blocker and framer behind the dish, and did hit at around a league-average rate earlier in his career, the left-handed hitter has trailed off over the last five seasons. Things reached a breaking point over the last two years, as he compiled an anemic .180/.253/.228 batting line in his 188 plate appearances.
Thole joins an increasingly crowded backstop mix in Arizona. After non-tendering Welington Castillo, the organization has added Chris Iannetta and Jeff Mathis to go with incumbent Chris Herrmann. Presumably, Thole will open the year in the upper minors to function as depth, though it’s certainly possible that plans could change over the course of the spring.