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Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Eric Thames To Sign With NPB’s Yomiuri Giants

Slugger Eric Thames is in agreement on a one-year deal with the Yomiuri Giants of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball, as first reported by Sports Hochi. Reports out of Japan have pegged the one-year contract’s value in the vicinity of $1.2MM, though the precise number remains unclear. Thames is repped by Apex Baseball.

Thames becomes the second former Brewers first baseman to join the Giants in as many days, as Justin Smoak is also reported to be wrapping up a deal to join the Giants. That could mean that one or both will spend ample time at designated hitter, and Thames of course has plenty of experience playing the outfield corners as well.

The 2020 season was a tough one for Thames, who inked a one-year pact with the Nationals last winter. The 34-year-old had a productive three-year run with the Brewers (.241/.343/.504 with 72 homers and a 118 wRC+), but his lone season in D.C. resulted in a .203/.300/.317 batting line through 140 trips to the plate.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 30, 2020 at 04:49 PM | 10 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: eric thames, japanese baseball

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   1. Dr. Pooks Posted: December 30, 2020 at 06:11 PM (#5996728)
It seems unclear to me why Eric Thames is valued at 1.2 million by the NPB Giants while Justin Smoak was reported to have signed with the team yesterday for 6-7 million.

At this point in their careers, Thames and Smoak seem to be pretty comparable players.

Smoak doesn't seem to have any obvious advantages that warrant a salary 4x as much. At least Thames can at least theoretically fake it in the outfield as well if needed. Justin Smoak OTOH is a fine defensive 1B who you would never even entertain asking him to move up the defensive spectrum.
   2. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: December 30, 2020 at 06:41 PM (#5996737)
inked a one-year pact
I wonder if on the day he signed, he was like, "I can't meet you for lunch today. I'm inking a pact."
   3. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: December 30, 2020 at 10:06 PM (#5996820)
Agreed about Thames vs. Smoak. Thames also has the bonus of spending 3 seasons in a different Asian league, so he has experience with the culture shock.

   4. Nasty Nate Posted: December 30, 2020 at 10:25 PM (#5996824)
so he has experience with the culture shock.
he's inked a few pacts in his day.
   5. RJ in TO Posted: December 30, 2020 at 11:04 PM (#5996835)
At least Thames can at least theoretically fake it in the outfield as well if needed.
I have seen Eric Thames play the outfield.

No, he can't.
   6. Walt Davis Posted: December 31, 2020 at 03:35 PM (#5996916)
Are there any other players who flopped, played overseas, successfully returned, then went overseas again?
   7. The Duke Posted: December 31, 2020 at 11:02 PM (#5996961)
Mikolas could go in a couple years and he would meet that criterion
   8. Sweatpants Posted: December 31, 2020 at 11:05 PM (#5996962)
Buddy Carlyle had three different stints overseas.

1999-2000: 7.08 ERA in 40.2 IP with San Diego.
2001-02: 4.19 ERA in 167.2 IP with the Hanshin Tigers.
2003-06: Pitches pretty well in the KC and NYY organizations; 8.36 ERA in 14 IP with the Dodgers in 2005; returns to AAA in 2006.
2006: Midway through the year he joins the KBO and puts up a 3.25 ERA (league average was 3.58) in 52.2 IP.
2007-09: Puts up a 5.09 ERA in 191 IP with the Braves (20 starts in 2007, 45 appearances in 2008).
2010: Returns to Japan, with a 5.81 ERA for one of their minor-league clubs and a 4.88 ERA in the Pacific League.
2011-15: Makes it back to MLB for eight games with the Yankees in 2011; bounces between systems until getting in 36 games for the Mets in 2014-15.

Amusingly, each of the three photos Baseball-Reference has on file for him comes from a different stint in the majors for him (Padres, Braves, Mets).
   9. Walt Davis Posted: January 01, 2021 at 10:27 PM (#5997065)
I don't think we can say Carlyle ever "successfully" returned (he does have that one solid season) ... I perhaps should have said "returned and had success" not that they were successful in getting back ... but anyway...

it is an impressive string for Carlyle, even moreso given his general lack of success wherever he went. There's 16 years between his MLB debut and his final appearance. He played in parts of 9 MLB seasons, parts of 16 minor-league seasons, 4 seasons in NPB/KBO and even tossed a few innings in the Dominican winter league at age 33. Lord only knows what his career earnings were as most of it is missed by b-r but looks like it should be on the order of at least $2.5 M plus whatever he got overseas and he was a 2nd round pick so probably a decent bonus for the time.
   10. Howie Menckel Posted: January 01, 2021 at 11:00 PM (#5997072)
Buddy had a 1.45 ERA and 241 ERA+ in 31 IP for the Mets in 2014.

that's almost a half-season of relief excellence.

he debuted to great fanfare on May 31 with 3 scoreless IP to earn the W in a 13-inning Mets win over the Phillies - his first MLB win in 6 years.

he then only allowed 1 ER in his next 13.3 IP, too - mainly in July and August as RP bodies went down.

never allowed more than 1 ER in a game, and closed out with 7 more no ER IP.

it was weird but it was fun.

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