After three years in Korea, Eric Thames is back in the big leagues with the Brewers on a three-year, $16MM deal the team hopes will make him a better deal than former first baseman Chris Carter, Tyler Kepner of the New York Times writes. Carter, of course, hit 41 home runs last season but struck out 206 times and contributed little defensively, making him a potentially poor value if the Brewers had taken him to arbitration. Thames hit 124 home runs in 1,634 plate appearances in his three seasons overseas. “We expect a productive Major League player,” says Brewers GM David Stearns. “That can take shape in a variety of ways. With a signing like this, there’s a fairly wide variance of potential outcomes, and we think there’s a lot of upside there.” Stearns notes that one difference between the Majors and the KBO is that big-league pitchers are likely to throw Thames more fastballs than KBO pitchers did. Here’s more from the Central divisions.
- Catcher Stuart Turner faces an uphill battle as he attempts to make the Reds’ roster, writes MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon. Stuart, who the Reds selected from the Twins in the last Rule 5 Draft, at least has the advantage of already being on the Reds’ 40-man roster, as Sheldon points out. But with two big-league catchers in front of him in Devin Mesoraco and Tucker Barnhart, Stuart will have to make the team as a third catcher (unless, of course, someone gets hurt, a possibility that’s perhaps worth keeping in mind given Mesoraco’s injury history). Turner also spent the last two seasons in Double-A, so the big leagues would be a big jump for him. “We get a six-to-seven week look at him to see if he’s ready to handle what would be a year of big league service time,” says Reds manager Bryan Price. “He’d have to play. I just don’t think we’re in a place to carry a player just to keep him.”
- The possibility of rebuilding, or something like it, lingers in the minds of some veteran Tigers players, MLive.com’s Evan Woodbery writes. When the offseason began, the possibility that the team would trade veterans was seemingly on the table. The team kept its core of older players, but those older stars are now aware that they or their teammates could be headed elsewhere if the team doesn’t succeed. “We’ve got a chance to play one more year together,” says Miguel Cabrera. “We know we didn’t go to the playoffs the last two years, but I think if we stay together, if we stay healthy, we’ve got a chance to compete every day.” Cabrera, of course, is under contract through at least 2023. But J.D. Martinez and Francisco Rodriguez will be free agents after the season, Justin Upton can out of his deal next winter as well, Ian Kinsler only has one more year and an option left on his contract, and Victor Martinez is only signed through 2018.
Tigers will be fine. Their time of being decent is almost up though.
As the Tiger roster begins to age, lack of team speed is becoming a serious problem. It takes three singles to score either Miggy or Victor and they have a couple of other player that run below average. Who will play CF and what about their bullpen? Will their starting pitching be enough? On a positive note, they play in the AL Central.
On a negative note, so do the Indians
Central is weak which means they can rack up wins and pad their record
2011 Tigers make the ALCS. 2012 Tigers make the WS. 2013 Tigers make the ALCS. 2014 Royals make the WS. 2015 Royals win the WS. 2016 Indians make the WS…..I keep seeing these “AL Central teams are weak” comments yet can’t help but feel otherwise.
Other than the good teams in the AL Central, the division is weak.
Legacy of Bo
you listed 1 team each year. 1 team does not make a strong division. plus, everyone knows the playoffs are a crapshoot.
Tigers need some 2009 Yankees magic to one for Illitch
Losing Dombrowski was the major blow
I, too wonder if dombrowski could have saved this team. By acquiring Norris, Fulmer and Boyd, his final act has been terrific but the team will need more, soon.
GM Al Avila really is a zero.
I don’t think so, I think he jumped ship to save face
Not a whole lot of risk that Justin Upton opts out…
Ummm no risk!
I’ve seen stupider things when players combine delusions of granduer and the whispers of agents, and get $$ in their eyes. Still, it would be stupid (unless he has an unlikely career year).
Tigers will look like a different team after the trade deadline.
I don’t know about that, aside from JD Martinez, they really don’t have that much that will bring back any blue Chip prospects, if they pitch well they can get a wildcard
I mean who are they really good idea I mean J D Martinez Maybe k-rod but everyone else has big contract or no trade clause I just don’t see it happening
Saw Turner play at Chattanooga the last two seasons. He is far from major league ready.
Based on the pic, he’s even beginning to look Asian…lol.
Eric Thames on a 3 year deal in this offseason? Have the Brewers gone crazy, or is this a different Eric Thames?
It’s a “different” Eric Thames. He had a potentially good skill set prior to going overseas and obviously destroyed over there. Still in his twenties, teams have scouted him and apparently a handful believe some of his success will translate over. If the Brewers wouldn’t have signed him, another first base needy team would have taken a shot with him since he’s relatively cheap. Personally, I’ll believe it when I see it based on similar past situations but he’s never lacked athleticism, he’s still young, and flashed some power even when he was in the MLB.
Same Eric Thames he will be an average MLB player between 1-2 war nothing special but who cares the brewers have no hope to win in one of the tougher divisions in baseball
Tough division? The Cubs are great, but the Cards and Pirates are on the backslide and the Reds may be worse than the Brewers.
high upside play. for a little over 5M/year, if he plays well in 2017, the 2 extra years make that a fantastic trade piece. if not, oh well, 5M is nothing.
I truly believe in Thames, would love to see him as an MLB success story
Thames definitely picked the right ballpark to make his “potential” bid for comeback player of the year award.