Dodgers finally have all the parts in place for next season by recently signing Marcus Thames to fill in the missing piece out in left field.
After Manny Ramirez's departure last season a void in the line-up was inevitable at left field for the Los Angeles Dodgers. But the Dodgers may have all of the pieces in place for next season as they finally signed Marcus Thames to hopefully fill in the missing piece to the puzzle. Several players took a stab at sealing the glaring gap, but no one had major success or were comparable to other outfielder's Matt Kemp and Andre Either. Role players like Xavier Paul, Jay Gibbons and Reed Johnson performed well but at the plate never really contributed sufficiently.
Coming in to a new spring, the Dodgers held onto some young guys like Gibbons and Paul, but really didn't upgrade in the outfield all winter even with the Tony Gywnn Jr. and Jamie Hoffman acquisitions. Neither of them ultimately add much power to the line-up. Albeit Gwynn comes from a great lineage, his production isn't even in the same area code as what his Hall of Fame dad accomplished for the San Diego Padres. Nonetheless, he tends to the willingness to progress and become a valuable asset on a team like the Dodgers. Gwynn's best year came in 2009 with the Padres, where he put up a .270 batting average, but hit only two home-runs with 393 plate appearances, while Jamie Hoffman is still battling to become an actual big league player.
Nothing was in the hands of the Dodgers that made the left field strong. It's like the place in the line-up and on the field was as unstable as Lindsey Lohan, until Monday when the team finally began working on a deal with former Yankees Outfielder Marcus Thames.
According to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times, the Dodgers have reached an agreement with Thames presumably on a short and sweet one-year deal.
Thames will be 35 when the season kicks off and plays as a right-handed outfielder. Primarily uses as the DH, his production came to the surface at the plate last year for the New York Yankees. He finished with 12 HR, 33 RBI with .288 average at the plate last season. However, he only played 33 games in the outfield since he lacked the skills set to fulfill the position.
In comparison to what the team had, the Dodgers have somewhat fortified their lineup and coming to terms with the veteran outfielder. Basically, the list of remaining free agents wasn't anywhere close to the length of the stimulus bill. Inking Thames was as decent of any other players that were available.
The addition of Thames may not tempt you to toss around confetti, but it's a necessary upgrade after the Dodgers kicked themselves in the foot with the loss of Rameriz and Juan Pierre.
I look for Gibbons and Thames to both have their share play time in the left this season and add the desperately needed missing pop. But don't plan any of those confetti parties at your workplace anytime soon.