Monday, January 17, 2011
Source: Dodgers, Marcus Thames agree
By Tony Jackson
The Los Angeles Dodgers have reached an agreement with free-agent outfielder Marcus Thames on a contract, according to a source who spoke on condition of anonymity. The length and financial terms of the deal weren't immediately clear, but the deal would be finalized if Thames passes a physical examination set for Tuesday.
Neither Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti nor Thames' agent, Casey Close, immediately returned voice messages left on their cell phones from ESPNLosAngeles.com.
Thames, who will turn 34 during spring training, has been at the top the Dodgers' wish list for the past several weeks, if not the entire winter. He hit a career-high .288 and posted a career-best .350 on-base percentage in 237 plate appearances for the New York Yankees last season and will add depth to the Dodgers' roster as a veteran who could fill in at first base and in left field, where as many as four players -- Thames, Tony Gwynn Jr., Jay Gibbons and Xavier Paul -- could share time.
Thames has a career .248 average in nine big league seasons, all of them in the American League. He hit a career-high 26 homers for the Detroit Tigers in just 390 plate appearances in 2006, but hit just 12 home runs and drove in 33 runs last season.
The Dodgers also are close to an agreement on a minor league contract with veteran outfielder Gabe Kapler, 35, on a minor league contract, another source confirmed. Kapler presumably would compete in spring training for a spot as a backup outfielder, but likely would be a long shot in a field that already is crowded with players on big league deals and with Paul now out of minor league options.
Tony Jackson covers the Dodgers for ESPNLosAngeles.com.