Thames has an opt-out clause


Via Chad Jennings, Marcus Thames has a clause in his contract that allows him to opt out and become a free agent if he doesn’t make the team out of Spring Training. Veterans on minor league deals almost always get clauses like this, allowing them to look elsewhere for a job instead of getting stuck in Triple-A all season.

Thames and Rule 5 Draft pick Jamie Hoffmann are essentially fighting for one bench spot, and it looks like whichever one loses that battle will head elsewhere. The decision comes down to whether the Yankees prefer Thames’ power against lefties (and basically nothing else) to Hoffmann’s ability to play all three outfield spots proficiently, steal some bases, and maybe even be a non-zero with the bat.

Categories : Asides


  1. Teix is the Man says:

    I would think Hoffmann would have an advantage, no?

    • Andy (different one) in chilly NYC says:

      I would think so, too…but as Mike noted above, it comes down to what the Yanks want out of their bench. Last year it seemed like they only used speed off the bench, as in Gardner/etc. Then once we got to the World Series and no DH, power off the bench became important.

      So it will say a lot about the Yanks’ thoughts when we see which way they go.

  2. pat says:

    Thames is our OMG-Hoffman-Looks-Completely-Lost-and-Utterly-Hopeless-Out-There insurance. Peace Marcus.

  3. Chris A says:

    I would much rather have Hoffmann on the team. I think the offense is good enough as it is that they don’t need a guy on the bench who’s only real skill is hitting home runs. Hoffmann is supposedly very good defensively and has some speed. If he can hit decently during spring training, then I can’t see how Thames would be preferred over him, however, if he doesn’t hit at all he may be like a lesser Brett Gardner and the decision between Thames and Hoffmann becomes more difficult. Either way, I doubt each player will make a huge impact on the team.

  4. theyankeewarrior says:

    Cashman: If you hit 10HRs in spring training, we will ship Hoffmann back to LA

    Thames: What about 9?

    Cashman: 10… Ninja vanish!

  5. Yeah, I’d rather have Hoffmann’s versatility.

  6. Steve H says:

    Thames would be easier to replace than Hoffman. If Hoffman makes the team and Thames leaves, then Hoffman sucks, they can find another Thames out there.

    And wouldn’t Thames consider a minor league assignment at that point anyway? It’s not like there were teams beating down his door to bring him in this offseason.

    • Accent Shallow says:

      I don’t know if another Thames is that easy to find. This is a guy with ~1700 PAs and a career .250 ISO. That is some real power.

      • Steve H says:

        1 tool players can be had all the time though. He’s simply not a full time player for a reason. Jonny Gomes barely got a job. Jermaine Dye is still waiting.

        My Thames replacement if Hoffman falters: Gary Sheffield.

      • Andy (different one) in chilly NYC says:

        True, but think of it from the point of view of “what do the Yanks need?”; they have plenty of homerun power. They picked up The King of Queens Hinske last year, but he wasn’t really used outside of rest-your-regulars time in Sept., until the playoffs. I would think a more versatile player would be more useful, then if you feel the need, see what’s available at the deadline.

    • Thomas says:

      This assumes Hoffmann hits. If Hoffmann doesn’t hit, is it really that difficult to find a solid defensive outfield with OK speed? No, they added Guzman last year and have already added Golson this year both of whom are far faster, too. Poor hitting, fast, defensive OF are a dime a dozen as well.

      Of course, when this is a major spring training argument, you know life is good.

  7. Salty Buggah says:

    Hoffmann: Good defense in 3 OF spots. Pinch-runner. Maybe good against lefties (if he can duplicate last year’s numbers against them)

    Thames: Most likely good against lefties. And…

    Hoffmann>>Thames IMO

  8. DP says:

    Not sure what all the Jamie Hoffmann love is about. He has a .182 career batting average! BUST!!!

  9. ultimate913 says:

    It’s times like these that I miss Hairston Jr the most. He can play average(I think) defense anywhere in the infield and outfield and his night time job is being a catcher.

  10. pistol pete says:

    Thank God we’ve got the best infield in the game because our outfield leaves a lot to be desired. That’s being nice, you could argue that it really stinks. Where are the Bernie’s and O’Neils.

    • WIlliam says:

      So, an outfeild with two guys with the potential for a combined 70 homers, one of whom is a gold glover, and another guy who will hit 270/340/410 with 50 steals and superb defense, stinks? Wow, what does a good outfield look like to you? Kemp, Holliday and Braun?

      • pistol pete says:

        Potential never won anything, Swisher is a 250 hitter, Granderson hit 249 last yr and 182 righthanded, and the Winn/Gardner combination puts fear in nobody and has Girardi searching for a pinchhitter late in games. We’ll need help in the of before the break you can count on it.

  11. [...] up guaranteed that Thames will break camp with the Yankees as their designated lefty masher. He can opt out of his contract if he doesn’t make the team, so there’s no option of stashing in the minors and hoping [...]

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