The Mariners will have a new outfielder joining them tomorrow as Eric Thames comes over from the Toronto Blue Jays, where he had been plying his trade in Class AAA for most of this year. Thames had experience in the majors and will get looks in the outfield corners.
Going to Toronto is relief pitcher Steve Delabar.
Brandon League goes to the Dodgers for two prospects. Left-handed hitting outfielder Leon Landry, 22, was hitting .328 with 26 doubles, 15 triples (!!) and eight home runs in upper level Class A ball. Yikes, 15 triples? What’s up with that? This guy some kind of track star?
The other prospect is pitcher Logan Bawcom, a closer with 20 saves and a 2.03 ERA combined at Class A and AA. In fact, 13 of his saves have come in AA. His combined K/9 rate is 11.09.
The dealing of League and Delabar is not a surprise. League will be a free agent this winter and never regained his closer form after losing the job to Tom Wilhelmsen.
Delabar struggled to get right-handers out and keep them in the ballpark. The Mariners have a bunch of guys who throw high-90s heat and project as closer types and Delabar was expendable — especially since the M’s plucked him off the scrap heap just over a year ago.
So, what to expect from Thames?
Photo Credit: AP
Well, he’s a corner outfielder and left-handed bat who hit 12 homers with a .769 OPS for the Blue Jays last season, though his home ballpark probably helped those totals a bit. Still, the M’s need to upgrade their outfield and if Thames, 25, takes a step forward, he could potentially be that with Seattle.
He has a .335 average with a .948 OPS in Class AAA this year.
Don’t forget, Casper Wells is a right-handed bat and the rest of the outfield really isn’t set at the moment. Michael Saunders could be in one outfield corner or could be the center fielder. As for Wells, we still don’t know whether he can be an everyday player. He’s had a couple of good months, just like Mike Carp did last year. Wells could still wind up being a fourth outfielder down the road.
So, while at first glance, Thames doesn’t appear to stand out over what the M’s already have, you have to consider what they gave up to get him (not a whole lot), the potential for growth and just how uncertain the M’s are in their outfield at the moment.
His defense is below average according to advanced metrics, so any upgrade he brings the M’s will have to be with his bat. Again, this is just a guy who will get a look these final two months for now. The M’s did not give up anyone of real value to get him. No, this is not a major trade. I expect the M’s to be busy tomorrow.
I’m pretty sure we’ve seen the last of Carlos Peguero for a while. The M’s will make a corresponding roster move tomorrow, as well as another move for League.
They will probably keep Trayvon Robinson just because he can play center field. Also, because he isn’t whiffing every time he steps to the plate.