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Report: Diamondbacks to sign catcher Josh Thole to minor-league contract

Toronto Blue Jays catcher Josh Thole, right, tags out Oakland Athletics' Marcus Semien in the seventh inning of a baseball game Saturday, July 16, 2016, in Oakland, Calif. Semien was attempting to score on a single by A's Ryon Healy. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

The Arizona Diamondbacks have agreed to a minor-league contract with veteran catcher Josh Thole, reports FanRagSports’ Jon Heyman.

Thole, an eight-year MLB veteran, played four years for the New York Mets and the last four for the Toronto Blue Jays. In 50 games for Toronto last season, the 30-year-old left-handed hitter averaged .169 with seven RBI and 20 hits in 118 at-bats.

He joins a large contingent of catchers who will aim to reinvigorate the Diamondbacks’ pitching staff that, as a whole, struggled mightily in 2016. With hard-hitting catcher Welington Castillo non-tendered by Arizona, the D-backs will have a battle for roster spots that include Thole and four catchers part of the 40-man rotation heading into spring.

Free agent signees Chris Iannetta and Jeff Mathis join returning ultility player Chris Herrmann and project Oscar Hernandez at catcher for the D-backs.

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