Yesterday, the Yankees signed Marcus Thames as a non-roster invitee for Spring Training. Thames stands to make $900K if he makes the Yankees’ Major League Roster. Before getting into the numbers, let’s run down what the scenario would have to be for Thames to make the team.
Basically, the Yankees would have to be very unimpressed with Jamie Hoffmann for Thames to get the last outfield bench spot that Hoffmann currently occupies. Spring Training is going to be a small and unreliable sample size, no doubt, but the Yankees can at least get a look at Jamie and what he could bring to the team. For the purposes of this article, we’ll assume Hoffmann is not on the Opening Day roster. If that happens, he either has to be returned to the Dodgers, per the rules of the Rule V Draft, or a trade could be worked out so that the Yankees could keep his rights and send him to AAA to get a little more seasoning. So, putting Marcus (back) on the Yankees, what can we expect? Let’s take a look, using the same method as my previous posts on Jorge, Curtis, Brett, and Joba.
Remember, these numbers are his projected totals and they’re not broken down by splits. If on the Yankees, Thames will likely be used only as a PH or for facing tough left handed pitching that Brett Gardner (or Curtis Granderson) may be unable to handle. Against lefties in his career, Thames sports a .360 wOBA and a .260 IsoP (thank you FanGraphs splits…seriously, how awesome is that site?); he hits lefties well. Very well. On with the projection:
The average projection for Thames is pretty funky looking. The average is low at .245, as is the OBP, coming in at .306. However, his average projected slugging percentage is a hefty .503. That means an IsoP of .258, which is just fantastic. Marcus projects to hit 20 homers in 306 ABs, which would be one every 15.3 ABs. Again, these are numbers Thames is projected to put up IF he makes the Yankees and they do not take his platoon split into account. If Thames is limited to just facing lefties, with the occasional right hander thrown in there, I’d expect him to out-hit that projection and possibly be more productive despite coming to the plate fewer times than a full time player.
I’m not in love with this deal, I would prefer someone more well-rounded than Thames, but in reality, it’s hard to dislike this deal. It’s not guaranteed and it could add some pop to the bench that is seriously lacking right now. Good luck to Marcus in camp (that’s thankfully coming soon).