San Diego Padres Rumors: Eric Thames Draws Interest
As teams scramble to sign free agents which can contribute in 2017, reports indicate that the San Diego Padres are interested in outfielder Eric Thames.
The San Diego Padres have one of the youngest 40-man rosters in baseball’s history, and would like to acquire a veteran. Not many names have been swirling around lately, but this is expected to pick up as the Winter Meetings approach.
However, one name tied to the Padres this past weekend was Eric Thames. A 30-year-old journeyman, Thames can play any outfield position.
The past three seasons, Thames has played in Korea, following a less than successful MLB career. In the U.S., the left-handed power hitter played for the Toronto Blue Jays and the Seattle Mariners, where he hit .250 in two seasons.
In Korea however, a light bulb went off for Thames. Hitting .347 in three seasons and pounding out 111 home runs, Thames became a sensation overseas. Now, a return to the States seems inevitable. With three teams already said to be pursuing the power hitter, and a projected ten million dollar contract, Thames could be a very productive player in 2017.
More from Friars on Base
- Jurickson Profar free agency update likely rules out Padres reunion
- Fernando Tatis Jr. may not take to outfield move after Xander Bogaerts addition
- Padres News: Fernando Tatis Jr. trade rumors, Seth Lugo chase, Manny Machado
- Padres barely missed out on high-end veteran starting pitcher
- This veteran DH target seems ideal for contending Padres roster
If his career in the United States is indeed revitalized, he will most likely play for either the Oakland Athletics, the Tampa Bay Rays, or the Padres. While he seems to be a better fit for the Rays or Athletics based on how their rosters are constructed, San Diego is in on the sweepstakes as well. General manager A.J. Preller is probably drawn to a left-hander who can drive in runs. The power department has been a struggle for the Padres recently, and Thames could provide a much needed spark.
Of course, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense defensively to acquire the 30-year-old. Unless San Diego doesn’t re-sign Jon Jay, they do not need more outfield depth. In fact, even without Jay, the outfield is relatively deep. Of course, the bat may make the move worth it in the eyes of some.
Next: Spring Training Schedule Released
Either way, the Padres will at least learn more about Thames. As they continue to weigh their options, there may not be many left-handed power hitters who can also serve as somewhat of a veteran presence for an affordable value. The Padres will pounce on every opportunity they can get to look deeper into possibly acquiring one.