Eric Thames Rumors

Astros Release Eric Thames

The Astros announced on Twitter that they have released outfielder Eric Thames so that he may pursue an opportunity to play in Korea. The team's 40-man roster now stands at 37 players.

Houston claimed Thames off waivers from the Orioles in September. The 26-year-old Thames is a career .250/.296/.431 hitter with 21 homers in 684 plate appearances. He's been significantly better in Triple-A throughout his career though, as evidenced by his .312/.389/.506 batting line in 870 plate appearances at that level.

Minor Moves: Thames, Tekotte, McDade

Here are today's minor moves and outright assignments from around the league…

  • Eric Thames will play for the NC Dinos of the Korean Professional Baseball League in 2014, his agent tells Venezuelan reporter Ormuz Sojo (hat tip to Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle).  Thames posted a .799 OPS in 420 minor league PA in 2013, mostly at the Triple-A level for the Mariners' and Orioles' top affiliates, and was claimed off waivers by the Astros in September.  Thames hit .250/.296/.431 with 21 homers in 684 PA with Toronto and Seattle in 2011-12.
  • The White Sox have outrighted outfielder Blake Tekotte and infielder Mike McDade, reducing their 40-man roster to 37, according to Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune (Twitter link). The 26-year-old Tekotte hit .226/.306/.355 with one homer (his first in the Majors) in 36 PAs for the Sox in 2013. He hit .236/.319/.389 in 338 Triple-A PAs. McDade, 24, batted .250/.313/.371 in 428 PAs between the Triple-A affiliates for the Indians and ChiSox in 2013.

Astros Claim Eric Thames

The Astros have claimed outfielder Eric Thames off waivers from the Orioles, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter). The 26-year-old outfielder was designated for assignment on Sunday to clear a roster space for pitcher Eric Beaulac.

Thames was a seventh-round pick of the Blue Jays in 2008 but was traded to the Mariners in exchange for right-hander Steve Delabar last season. The Mariners eventually traded him to Baltimore for infielder Ty Kelly.

The left-handed-swinging Thames is a career .250/.296/.431 hitter with 21 homers in 684 plate appearances. He's been significantly better in Triple-A throughout his career though, as evidenced by his .312/.389/.506 batting line in 870 plate appearances at that level. Thames will join a crowded outfield mix in Houston that features Robbie Grossman, L.J. Hoes, Trevor Crowe, J.D. Martinez, Brandon Barnes and Jimmy Paredes.

Orioles Designate Eric Thames For Assignment

The Orioles have designated outfielder Eric Thames for assignment, the team announced via press release. In a corresponding move, the team added pitcher Eric Beaulac to the 40-man roster and put him on the DL, which creates an extra potential post-season roster spot.

Thames was acquired from the Mariners by trade in late June, but hasn't notched an MLB at-bat this season. He has seen his big league playing time dwindle consistently since a nice rookie campaign with Toronto in 2011, when he slashed .262/.313/.456 and hit twelve long balls in 394 plate appearances. In the Seattle and Baltimore minor league systems this year, Thames has a collective .283/.367/.432 line across 420 plate appearances.

AL East Notes: Red Sox, Johnson, Yankees, Ishikawa

Let's take a look at the latest news and notes involving the American League East:

Orioles Acquire Eric Thames

The Orioles announced that they have acquired outfielder Eric Thames from the Mariners in exchange for minor league infielder Ty Kelly.  Thames was designated for assignment earlier this month to clear a 40-man roster spot for fellow outfielder Franklin Gutierrez.

Thames hopes that a change of scenery will lead to his first big league game in 2013.  In his time with Triple-A Tacoma, Thames posted a slash line of .295/.382/.479 across 249 plate appearances.  In 684 career major league PAs, Thames has hit .250/.296/.431.

Kelly, who turns 25 in July, has hit 283/.389/.382 in 72 games for the O's Double-A affiliate.  The switch-hitter has spent the bulk of his time at second base and third base with some experience in the outfield.

Mariners Designate Eric Thames For Assignment

The Mariners have announced that outfielder Eric Thames has been designated for assignment. The move clears a 40-man roster spot for fellow outfielder Franklin Gutierrez, who will come off the 60-day disabled list.  Gutierrez will replace Michael Morse on the active roster, with Morse landing on the 15-day DL. 

Thames had yet to appear in the big leagues this season, and owns a career line of .250/.296/.431/ in 684 plate appearances with the Blue Jays and Mariners.  The 26-year-old is currently slashing .295/.382/.479 with Triple-A Tacoma. 

Blue Jays, Mariners Swap Thames For Delabar

The Mariners have acquired outfielder Eric Thames from the Blue Jays for reliever Steve Delabar, the team announced. Just yesterday we learned that Seattle was looking to acquire young, cost-controlled hitters.

Thames, 25, hit .243/.288/.365 in 160 big league plate appearances and .335/.412/.536 in 228 Triple-A plate appearances this season. The left-handed swinger has played primarily left field in the show. The 29-year-old Delabar is a hard-throwing right-handed reliever with a 3.92 ERA and 10.9 K/9 with 3.1 BB/9 in 43 2/3 career innings with Seattle. Both players are under team control through 2017.

AL East Notes: Matsui, Jones, Encarnacion

The Rays announced that they added Hideki Matsui to their active roster today, optioning Stephen Vogt to Triple-A and transferring Brandon Guyer to the 60-day disabled list in corresponding moves. Here are some items of interest from the AL East…

  • Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports explains that Adam Jones’ new extension is about Jones the person, not just Jones the center fielder. The Orioles signed Jones to a six-year, $85.5MM deal last week.
  • The Blue Jays aren’t currently discussing an extension with the representatives for Edwin Encarnacion, Morosi reports (on Twitter). The Wasserman Media Group client is on track to hit free agency after the season.
  • The Blue Jays announced that they optioned Eric Thames to Triple-A. Thames, the Opening Day left fielder, returns to the minors and infielder Mike McCoy takes his place on Toronto’s active roster.
  • Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal suggests it wouldn't be surprising if the Red Sox moved to extend Jarrod Saltalamacchia in the next few months. The hot-hitting catcher will be arbitration eligible for the third and final time this coming offseason and can expect a raise from his current $2.5MM salary.
  • Here's a look at the 2013 contract issues facing the AL East teams: Red Sox, Orioles, Yankees, Rays, Blue Jays.

Eight-Player Deal Sending Rasmus To Jays For Jackson Imminent

12:08pm: The Cardinals will send Rasmus, Trever Miller, Brian Tallet, and P.J. Walters to the Blue Jays for Jackson, Rzepczynski, Dotel, and Corey Patterson, tweets ESPN's Buster Olney.  Olney adds that Miller is then expected to be traded to the White Sox.

12:01pm: This trade is not yet official because of the money involved, tweets Danny Knobler of CBS Sports.  He says that aspect may need to be reworked before it's approved.

11:35am: A trade of Rasmus to the Blue Jays for Jackson, Dotel, and Rzepczynski is imminent, reports Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.  He says an announcement could come early this afternoon.

11:22am: Edwin Jackson is definitely going to be traded by the Blue Jays, tweets SI's Jon Heyman.  Heyman heard it's going to be for Cardinals outfielder Colby Rasmus.  Rasmus being under team control through 2014 and still highly-regarded, the Cards will require more than just two months of Jackson.  The two teams have talked about Marc Rzepczynski and Octavio Dotel, notes Olney, and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports tweets that the Cards asked about outfielder Eric Thames.

Rasmus is a popular trade target.  ESPN's Buster Olney tweets that the Rays offered one of Jeff Niemann, Wade Davis, and Alex Cobb, and the young center fielder is very much available.  The Indians have interest as well.