Ex-Tiger Thames of interest to Jays, Tribe

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Sources told FOXSports.com that the Indians and Blue Jays are looking at free agent Marcus Thames.
Thames, who was released by the Tigers after six seasons in Detroit, would likely sign cheap if it meant getting a chance to play regularly. The soon-to-be 33-year-old has a career 797 OPS in 1,549 at-bats and he’s an adequate defensive left fielder, so he probably wouldn’t be a brutal starter. However, he has been considerably better versus lefties (.256/.329/.516) than against righties (.234/.292/.474). It’s a big reason why his career high for at-bats is 348.
As a result, he makes more sense as a platoon player and fallback than as an Opening Day starter. He’d be a great fit in Toronto as protection for the left-handed-hitting Travis Snider. The Indians might be better off with a left-handed hitter as their Matt LaPorta insurance.

Kyle Schwarber: Before and After

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It’s always a bit deceiving to see offseason workout photos of players who are said to be getting into great shape because guys in those pics are wearing compression shirts and crap and we’re used to seeing them in baseball uniforms. I remember pics of Miguel Cabrera and David Ortiz in the offseason looking svelte, only to see them in uniform come spring as their familiar beefy selves. Uniforms are often loose and billowy and the players wear  a couple of layers when they’re suited up, so at least visually speaking it’s better to compare apples to apples.

Which brings us to Kyle Schwarber. All offseason long we’ve been getting reports about Schwarber working out, losing weight and, of course, getting into The Best Shape of His Life. And some of those pics have definitely shown a young man who has cut fat and gotten lean. Good for him!

Let’s see how that translates to Schwarber in uniform. Here is is at spring training last year:

MESA, AZ – FEBRUARY 21: Kyle Schwarber #12 of the Chicago Cubs poses during Chicago Cubs Photo Day on February 21, 2017 in Mesa, Arizona. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

 

Here he is toward the end of last season:

CHICAGO, IL – SEPTEMBER 09: at Wrigley Field on September 9, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

And here he is now:

MESA, AZ – FEBRUARY 20: Kyle Schwarber #12 of the Chicago Cubs poses during Chicago Cubs Photo Day on February 20, 2018 in Mesa, Arizona. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

 

Nice goin’, kid.