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Mariners acquire Eric Thames from Blue Jays

Jul 31, 2012, 1:19 AM EDT

Eric Thames Reuters

The Jays’ big position battle this spring was Eric Thames versus Travis Snider for left field. Thames was handed the job, but eventually both ended up back in the minors. Now both are out of the organization entirely, having been traded within a half hour of each other tonight.

Thames was sent to Seattle for reliever Steve Delabar, the teams announced after playing tonight. Delabar, at least, won’t have far to travel; he merely needs to switch clubhouses at Safeco. Thames, presumably, will be called by the Mariners in short order. The 25-year-old was hitting .335/.412/.536 with six homers in 194 at-bats for Triple-A Las Vegas.

It’s unlikely that the left-handed-hitting Thames will prove to be a building block for the Mariners. He has decent enough power, but his on-base skills are lacking and he’s a bit of a liability defensively in the outfield. If the Mariners had their pick of Thames and Snider, it’s a good bet they would have chosen Snider instead. Thames could stick as a platoon player, though. He’ll almost certainly be an upgrade from Carlos Peguero there.

Delabar, 29, had a 4.17 ERA in 36 2/3 innings out of the pen for Seattle this season. He lacks an outpitch to go along with his 92-95 mph fastball and probably won’t survive as more than a middle reliever as a result. With more athletic outfielders available in Anthony Gose and Rajai Davis, it seems the Jays simply felt it was time to move on from both Snider and Thames. Of the two, Snider is the more likely to make them regret it.

  1. denny65 - Jul 31, 2012 at 2:24 AM

    The very *last* thing the Mariners need is another outfielder! Toronto got the best of this deal. Thames will probably report to Tacoma.

  2. Detroit Michael - Jul 31, 2012 at 5:37 AM

    Steve Delabar this year:
    – Strikes out 12 batters per 9 innings
    – Strikes out 4 times as many batters as he walks
    – Allows less than a baserunner per inning
    – “Lacks an outpitch”?

    • CJ - Jul 31, 2012 at 8:09 AM

      just imagine how good he’d be if he had one!

    • 32bigg - Jul 31, 2012 at 8:10 AM

      If Matthew writes an article about the Jays, there will always be a negative slant to it. In this case the negative slant involves only mentioning the negative side in his review of Delabar (thank you Detroit Michael for the positive side). Even though people have tipped him off to his bias, he refuses to acknowledge it.

      For example, compare this article to the article written about a half an hour earlier by DJ Short concerning the trade of Snider. DJ gives a brief balanced review of Brad Lincoln (the player the Jays got back), noting that while he has good numbers, he’s limited to being effective from the bullpen, but probably not as a starter. Balanced.

      And DH makes no mention of potential “regret” of giving up on Snider. Matthew’s article wasn’t even about Snider yet he can’t help but add in the negative slant.

      • paperlions - Jul 31, 2012 at 8:30 AM

        Yeah, yeah, every writer hates your team, grow up.

        Delabar is 29 and has always walked a lot of guys including 9 guys in 9 IP in AAA this year. If you want to go off of this years small MLB sample, feel free….but this is a guy that looks like he Ks a lot of guys, BBs a lot of guys and is extremely homer prone….is that really going to play up in the AL east?

      • 32bigg - Jul 31, 2012 at 8:33 AM

        Lol! Paperlions is the maturity police. I will get off your lawn, but only if you ask nicely.

        And I was making a wider point than your response addressed. Wake up!

      • proudlycanadian - Jul 31, 2012 at 8:58 AM

        Paperlions also has trouble with both the Jays and Rasmus.

      • 32bigg - Jul 31, 2012 at 9:17 AM

        And those are just the problems we know about ;)

      • paperlions - Jul 31, 2012 at 11:11 AM

        Yeah, you don’t want to see a complete list…trust me.

    • theawesomersfranchise - Jul 31, 2012 at 12:23 PM

      My God Pouliot is just the worse blogger hosted on this site
      Just off the top of my head
      Royal are a little league team
      Drew Stubbs and the leadoff position and how runs are scored.
      Now this

      Pouliot is the runt of this blog and quite frankly doesn’t fit with the talented and knowledgeable bloggers here.

      • CJ - Jul 31, 2012 at 1:22 PM

        ” talented and knowledgeable bloggers”. I don’t agree with your overall point, but, I had to chuckle at this.

        Those words don’t usually follow “blogger”, which unfortunately is still more of a derogatory term in media circles. Though I’agree the ones on this site are very good, Pouliot included..

  3. bklynbaseball - Jul 31, 2012 at 9:37 AM

    Anybody know if Eric Thames is any relation to Marcus Thames?

    • CJ - Jul 31, 2012 at 9:59 AM

      I’m sure Google does. Neither is related to the Thames river though, in case that was your next question.

    • paint771 - Jul 31, 2012 at 11:26 AM

      They’re supposedly distant cousins, but they pronounce their names differently (in this case, Eric Thames rhymes with Names).

  4. paint771 - Jul 31, 2012 at 11:30 AM

    I have to say I think Thames is underrated, and particularly in Toronto where Jays fans (irrationally, in my view) have been stuck on Snider as Future of the Franchise for years and so Thames always had that hanging over him.

    Thames had a great attitude, did everything asked of him, and showed real potential as a guy with adequate defense, pretty good speed, and raw power. I think he could project to be a starter, albeit probably never an All-Start – a .250 average, 20 HR solid doubles hitter sort of guy (like Overbay at his peak). He had no real future in Toronto, but this Jays fan at least is sad to see him go.

    • jaysjunkie - Aug 2, 2012 at 3:22 PM

      I liked Thames, but “adequate defense” is a bit of an overstatement. Although he’d make the occasional spectacular catch, there were WAY too many balls hit to him that he’d make a real adventure. Granted, he’s still improving, but I’d cringe every time a non-routine ball was hit his way.

  5. mmason0071 - Jul 31, 2012 at 1:03 PM

    As an Mariner’s fan (yes, there are still a few of us) I am not sure I understand either side of this trade. The Mariners already have a boatload of almost-but-not-quite-good-enough-for-the-majors outfielders in their system, so I am not sure how they plan to use Thames. But he is still a pretty good return for Delabar, who paired the high velocity of his fastballs with the long distances they were hit.

  6. sjthames - Jul 31, 2012 at 9:48 PM

    Hello Eric Thames is not related to Marcus Thames, not even distant cousins…Sorry : )

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