According to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times, the Dodgers have reached an agreement on a contract with Marcus Thames. No word on the specific terms involved, but the deal could be finalized by as soon as tomorrow.
Thames, who turns 34 in March, batted .288/.350/.491 with 12 home runs, 33 RBI and .841 OPS in 237 plate appearances with the Yankees last season. He’ll presumably be used as part of a platoon in left field, most likely with the left-handed hitting Jay Gibbons. Thames, a right-handed hitter, has thrived as a lefty-masher during his career, compiling a .264/.333/.505 batting line and an .838 OPS against southpaws.
The Dodgers had reportedly considered a plan that would have moved the recently-signed Tony Gwynn Jr. to center field, bumping Matt Kemp to right field and Andre Ethier to left field, but the addition of Thames signifies that they are now prepared to throw caution to the wind defensively.
The Phillies and Red Sox appear intent on pursuing free agent first baseman Carlos Santana, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports. Santana rejected a one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Indians on Thursday and is expected to draw widespread interest on the market this winter. The Mets, Mariners, Angels and Indians could make a play for the infielder, though no serious offers have been made this early in the offseason.
Santana, 31, is coming off of a seven-year track with the Indians. He batted .259/.363/.455 with 23 home runs and 3.0 fWAR last season, making 2017 the fourth-most valuable year of his career to date. Although he was primarily stationed at first base over the last year, he could step back into a hybrid first base/DH role with the Red Sox, who are hurting for infield depth with Hanley Ramirez still working his way back from shoulder surgery.
As for Santana’s other suitors, the Mariners are far less likely to pursue a deal after trading for Ryon Healy last Wednesday. Neither the Mets nor the Phillies have a DH spot to offer the veteran infielder, and the Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins appears to be blocking the way at first base. Then again, Santana may not find a more enticing offer outside of Cleveland, where Edwin Encarnacion might otherwise be the club’s best option at first base. During the GM meetings, Indians’ GM Mike Chernoff said he “love to have both [Santana and Jay Bruce] back” in 2018, but hasn’t backed up that love with any contract talks just yet.