Marcus Thames Rumors
Marcus Thames has been hired as the hitting coach for the Yankees' high A-ball affiliate in Tampa, the club announced via its Twitter feed, effectively ending the outfielder's ten-year Major League career. Thames last appeared in the majors in 2011, posting a .576 OPS in 70 plate appearances for the Dodgers. According to Baseball Reference, the 35-year-old Thames made a little over $6.2MM in his career.
Thames was originally drafted by the Yankees in the 30th round of the 1996 amateur draft and had two separate stints in New York, also playing for the Dodgers, Rangers and Tigers, where he spent six seasons. Thames didn't offer much in the way of batting average or on-base skills but he possessed strong power from the right side of the plate, hitting .246/.309/.485 with 115 homers in 2016 career plate appearances. His best single season came in 2006 when he posted an .882 OPS in 390 PA and helped the Tigers reach the World Series.
The Yankees signed Marcus Thames to a minor league deal, according to George A. King III of the New York Post. The 34-year-old, who played for the Yankees in 2002 and 2010, will report to the Yankees' minor league complex before he's assigned to Triple-A. Thames hit .288/.350/.491 in a part-time role with the Yankees last year, adding 12 home runs.
The Dodgers released Thames this week after a disappointing stint in which he hit .197/.243/.333 in 70 plate appearances. Though the Dodgers acquired the 34-year-old for his ability to hit left-handed pitching (.824 career OPS), he struggled against southpaws, posting just a .167/.231/.306 line. In ten big league seasons, he has a .246/.309/.485 line with 115 homers.
The Dodgers have released Marcus Thames, according to Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times (on Twitter). Los Angeles designated the outfielder for assignment a week ago to create roster space for new acquisition Juan Rivera.
Thames hit .197/.243/.333 in 70 plate appearances this year. Though the Dodgers acquired the 34-year-old for his ability to hit left-handed pitching (.824 career OPS), he struggled against southpaws, posting just a .167/.231/.306 line. In ten big league seasons, he has a .246/.309/.485 line with 115 homers.
The Dodgers acquired outfielder Juan Rivera from the Blue Jays for a player to be named later or cash considerations and designated Marcus Thames for assignment, announced the team (Twitter links). Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times tweets that the Dodgers also received cash.
The Jays had to take Rivera and his $5.25MM salary to facilitate the Vernon Wells trade with the Angels in January. Toronto ended up designating Rivera for assignment on July 3rd. Rivera, 33, hit .243/.305/.360 for the Blue Jays in 275 plate appearances, playing both outfield corners, first base, and designated hitter.
Rivera is a right-handed hitter who handles lefties well, which is what the Dodgers thought they were getting when they signed Thames for $1MM in January. Thames struggled mightily in 70 plate appearances, missing about a month with a quad strain.
Derek Jeter, Ryan Howard and Derrek Lee aren’t the only former CAA clients agent Casey Close will continue to represent now that he’s at Excel Sports Management. Close told MLBTR that he still represents Tyler Clippard, Michael Cuddyer, Alex Gordon, Jerry Hairston Jr., Scott Hairston, Casey Kotchman, Ben Sheets, Marcus Thames and Jamey Wright.
The Dodgers have officially signed outfielder Marcus Thames to a one-year contract. The deal includes a $1MM base salary and another $800K in incentives.
Thames, 33, would provide the Dodgers with right-handed power and could platoon with Jay Gibbons in left field. Last season Thames hit .288/.350/.491 with 12 homers in 237 plate appearances for the Yankees.
MLB.com's Ken Gurnick first reported that the two sides were on the verge of agreeing to a deal while Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times confirmed the agreement. Hernandez later added the financial terms (Twitter links).
The Dodgers are on the verge of signing free agent outfielder Marcus Thames, baseball sources tell MLB.com's Ken Gurnick. However, the club declined to confirm that a signing of the 33-year-old is close. Thames would provide the Dodgers with right-handed power and could platoon with Jay Gibbons in left field.
Sources say that the Dodgers are also looking at veterans Eric Chavez and Gabe Kapler as they search for a power bat. The front office also is thinking about moving Matt Kemp from center field to right, Andre Ethier right field to left, and Tony Gwynn starting in center field. That alignment would help fortify the Dodgers' defense but Gwynn must perform well at the plate in Spring Training in order to make that a possibility.
Andruw Jones appears to be the Yankees' top choice as they continue to search for a fourth outfielder, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter). The sides are still apart on money, Heyman writes. Agent Scott Boras, who represents Jones, also represents Johnny Damon, who is one of the Yankees' backup options. Former Yankee Marcus Thames is still a consideration for the Bronx Bombers.
The Yankees are looking for an outfielder who bats from the right side and can handle left and center field against tough lefties. The team wants a player that can give left-handed batters Curtis Granderson and Brett Gardner some rest against select southpaws and provide the team with depth.
Jones, 33, hit 19 homers for the White Sox last year, playing all three outfield positions. He has an .863 OPS against lefties in his career, including a .931 mark in 2010.
Happy Holidays to all of MLBTR's readers. Here is today's batch of links...
- Yovani Gallardo was delighted to learn of the deal that brought Zack Greinke to Milwaukee, writes Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
- The Ricky Nolasco deal leaves the Marlins with $41.5MM in contractual committments for nine players this season, writes Joe Capozzi of The Palm Beach Post. The right-hander made his three-year extension worth $26.5MM official early this morning.
- In today's blog post at ESPN (Insider req'd), Buster Olney says the Yankees are unlikely to bring Marcus Thames back for the 2011 season since they need reserve players capable of providing flexibility on defense.
- Astros GM Ed Wade told Joseph Duarte of The Houston Chronicle that he believes he had enough "protection on the back end of the bullpen" to trade Matt Lindstrom. "With the ability to go out and add two more young arms to create more depth in the system and balance the payroll, this was a sensible deal for us to make."
- MASNSports.com's Ben Goessling muses about some players who have taken their time finding a new team this offseason.
At this time last season, the Dodgers were ready to start the season with a future Hall of Famer roaming left field. Now they're still trying to find someone for the job after Scott Podsednik declined his half of a mutual option. They had some interest in Bill Hall, but he decided to sign with the Astros. The Dodgers have now turned their attention to three other left field candidates according to MLB.com's Ken Gurnick, making contact with Marcus Thames and the brothers Hairston: Scott and Jerry Jr.
Thames, 34 in March, hit .288/.350/.491 in 237 plate appearances for the Yankees in 2010, his best offensive season since 2006. He's a disaster defensively, with a -27.4 UZR/150 in left over the last three seasons. Jerry, the older of the two brothers, played primarily shortstop for the Padres last year, hitting .244/.299/.353 in 476 plate appearances. He dealt with a stress fracture in his tibia at the end of the season. His brother hit .210/.295/.346 in 336 plate appearances for San Diego while battling hamstring issues.
Both Thames and Scott excel at punishing left-handers, with .264/.333/.505 and .278/.331/.498 career batting lines against southpaws, respectively. That would be useful in a division that features lefties Barry Zito, Jonathan Sanchez, Joe Saunders, and Clayton Richard, among others.