Slugger Eric Thames is in agreement on a one-year deal with the Yomiuri Giants of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball, as first reported by Sports Hochi. Reports out of Japan have pegged the one-year contract’s value in the vicinity of $1.2MM, though the precise number remains unclear. Thames is repped by Apex Baseball.
Thames becomes the second former Brewers first baseman to join the Giants in as many days, as Justin Smoak is also reported to be wrapping up a deal to join the Giants. That could mean that one or both will spend ample time at designated hitter, and Thames of course has plenty of experience playing the outfield corners as well.
The 2020 season was a tough one for Thames, who inked a one-year pact with the Nationals last winter. The 34-year-old had a productive three-year run with the Brewers (.241/.343/.504 with 72 homers and a 118 wRC+), but his lone season in D.C. resulted in a .203/.300/.317 batting line through 140 trips to the plate.
Thames is no stranger to playing overseas, having starred for the NC Dinos of the Korea Baseball Organization from 2014-16 before returning to MLB with the Brewers in 2017. This will mark his first action in NPB, however. Depending on how the 2021 season plays out for Thames, he should again be an interesting free agent next winter. With a productive year for the Giants, it’s easy to see him drawing legitimate interest from all three of MLB, NPB and the KBO a year from now.
Thames looking to play in every professional league before he retires.
Hosmer for HOF
Thames goes to the same team as smoak but for about $5M less. I would fire his agent
No its just Justin Smoak has the greatest agent in recorded history to get him that deal.
So apparently if any mlb players are reading this hire Dustin Bledsoe. He got Smoak a 6-7 million dollar deal. And if he can do that then think what he could do for Bauer or Springer or JTR.
Smoak also landed a nice contract he didn’t deserve in Milwaukee last year. Also squeezed more money than he should have in Toronto.
no one has a better agent than Chris Davis.
He made 4 mil a season in Toronto and other then his last year he was worth it
Eric Thames aka “God”. That’s in contention for best nicknames ever
FredMcGriff for the HOF
Eric has a awesome beard. Get that money!
Ducky Buckin Fent
There are certainly worse goals. Less lucrative one’s, as well. He’s made ~ 25 mil at this point to travel around the world & play ball.
Good work if you can get it.
Well said. I torally agree. I think you and I would trade places to play baseball in Japan for 1 million.
I love this move for him, and if he stays healthy and goes off it means he could be back in MLB by age 35.
Actually the only question I have here is: how did Smoak get so much more money than Thames?
ha ha ha, okay buddy
You know probably not a bad idea they have the virus over there under control better then here plus I believe they have crowds back. Best of luck Thames. was always surprised of how big that man is almost as big as Braun Strommen.
Thames is only 5’11” Braun Strommen is like 6’8″
Next season he’ll play with Manny Ramirez in Australia
Rodger Clemens will be there throwing 88 mph heat, Julio Franco and Bartolo Colon will also be there
Clemens at 88mph likely would still chew up the AA players.
Enjoyed watching him as a Brewer. I remember him having an epic power streak his first year. Good luck in Japan.
I was a big fan of him during his Brewers tenure. He’s not a superstar but serviceable 1B.
Would love to see him come back to MIL in some capacity after he retires- he seemed to love it here. Didn’t he win the team’s “Best Craft Brew” contest?
1.2 million to play ball at 35? Not a bad salary, not bat at all…
i know others have said it already, but it deems saying again…HOW ON EARTH DID SMOAK GET SO MUCH MORE?!?!
tom brunanskys black sock
His agent is a fiery negotiator.
He can be slotted in as the full time 1st baseman, is better defensively than Thames and also has more pop and is a switch hitter, he is bigger and better looking too
That last part sounds wildly racist.
Calm down. He was joking. Stop looking to be offended.
The only way that sounds racist is if you’re a moron
yeah, but is that worth sereval times more?
Disrespected by MLB.
One of my all time favorites. This guy gets life. I hope he hits 50 bombs this summer.
He will, I think Smoak will hit about 30 and Adieny will hit about 20 and have a .300 BA
Id rather have Thames then smoak easy. I feel like smoak always struggled with breaking balls so i think he is going to suck in japan. Also if Smoaks deal is for 1 year that puts him in the top 2 or 3 players money wise
Edit: top 3 npb contracts last year were between 5 and 6 mil
At the price of 1.2 million, I am surprised the Brewers didn´t go after him. I am a die hard Brewers fan, and Thames is a great locker room teammate according to the team. He also put up decent stats while being a Brewer. Plus, the Brewers don´t really have a 1st Baseman. Don´t give me Daniel Vogelbach either. He is a DH not a 1st Baseman.
Thames is better over seas
One of them could play DH were it not that the Yomiuri Giants play in the NL version of the NPB.
lol I came here to post the same comment. Thames likely plays a corner OF spot and gets removed after 6 innings for a defensive sub
Bummer — Thames was one of my favorite players; fun to watch, and seemed like a good guy.
I think this is where we’re going to see the current “economic climate” really affect players — the lower tier FA’s, particularly hitters.
On Thames’ part, I could see his decision to sign with the Y. Giants stemming from a reluctance to wait out the MLB market. I’d assume he would’ve been a guy who would’ve received more attention if the NL were to officially adopt the DH moving forward.
Yomiuri Giants making bigger moves than the San Francisco Giants
I wish the SF Giants would be half as interesting as the Yomiuri Giants
Peart of the game
Looks like Gerardo Parra is also going to play somewhere else in 2020.
Yeah, no DH in Central League. The Y Giants would like it and are pushing it and have all the money and political power, so…
Eric had no choice to sign somewhere else. Bell and Zimmerman equals no at bats