The Los Angeles Dodgers have addressed their need for a right-handed hitting bat by reportedly signing Marcus Thames to a contract, per Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times. Thames, who hit .288/.350/.491 in 82 games with the Yankees in 2010, will presumably form part of the left field platoon for the Dodgers with left-handers Jay Gibbons and Tony Gwynn, and could back up James Loney at first base as well. Contract terms are not yet known, and the deal for Thames is expected to be finalized on Tuesday.
Thames in his career has hit .264/.333/.505 against southpaws, and has an OPS of better than .800 against lefties in each of the last five seasons. In the last five seasons, Thames has 33 doubles and 35 home runs in 640 plate appearances against southpaws. However, to say defense is not Thames' strength would be an understatement, and over the last two years started just 40 games in the outfield, with the option to be designated hitter in the American League. Rather comically, Thames did play one inning at third base last year for the Yankees, with disastrous results.
The signing of Thames will give the Dodgers 40 players on their 40-man roster. Before the signing of Thames, the Dodgers have $77.175 million committed to 16 players in 2011, plus another $16.3 million in deferred salaries to players no longer on the team. Tuesday is the deadline for teams to exchange salary figures with players eligible for salary arbitration. The Dodgers have three eligible players: pitchers Chad Billingsley and Hong-Chih Kuo, and first baseman James Loney.
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