Ed Wade continues to stockpile journeymen position players with the signing of 32 year old Joe Thurston to a minor league contract with an invite to spring training. The 10 year minor league veteran, has played for the Dodgers, Yankees, Phillies, Red Sox, Braves and Marlin’s farm systems while having his only extended major league time with the Cardinals in 2009.
Primarily an infielder, Thurston joins Brian Bixler as recent acquisitions who are expected to compete for the potential void left by Clint Barmes‘ anticipated departure. Neither move will make heads turn but will provide quality depth at the minor-league level. Both are flexible enough to stick in the majors, if everything falls right. Along with Angel Sanchez, Bixler could be a potential fit at SS, and all three will battle for a backup IF spot. Sanchez appears to have an edge in both categories, being a favorite of manager Brad Mills.