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Dodgers reach agreement with Marcus Thames, close to signing Gabe Kapler

Marcusthames_300 The Dodgers are close to making some modest upgrades to their outfield, as they have agreed to terms on a deal with Marcus Thames and are close to signing Gabe Kapler to a minor league contract.

 Thames, who will be 34 on opening day, is expected to provide the right-handed bat in a left-field platoon that will include Jay Gibbons.

Thames hit .288 with 12 home runs and 34 runs batted in in 82 games for the New York Yankees last season.  He batted .300 with five home runs and 14 RBIs against left-handers.

Over nine major-league seasons, including six with the Detroit Tigers, Thames has hit .248 with 113 home runs and 294 RBIs.

Thames’ deal is expected to be finalized on Tuesday.

If Kapler signs with the Dodgers and makes their major league club, this will be a homecoming of sorts for the graduate of Taft High in Woodland Hills.

At 35, Kapler’s best years are about a decade behind him. He had what was arguably his best offensive season in 2000, when he hit .302 with 14 homers and 66 RBIs for the Texas Rangers.

Kapler retired after the 2006 season and spent the next year managing the Boston Red Sox’s class-A affiliate in Greenville, S.C.

Kapler returned as a player in 2008 with the Milwaukee Brewers. He played the last two seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays, batting .210 with two home runs and 14 RBIs in 140 plate appearances last year.

-- Dylan Hernandez

Photo: Marcus Thames. Credit: Jim McIsaac / Getty Images

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not sure why old guys that are beyond their prime (which wasn't that"prime" anyway) are expected to help.

$40M loan from FOX and this is the best the Dodgers could do. Maybe Jamie has Frank by the baseballs after all!

I love the Thames signing. I've been hoping for this for a month now. He's defintiely a great platoon player - and could possibly be a full time LF - and has a good HR/AB ratio. He will hit 20 HR in 350 AB. Love it love it love it. The Dodgers needed hitters with some extra thump and I think this qualifies.

Thames I can see but Kapler give me a break. Where dose that leave Paul who I belive is out of options. Ned "What are you thinking"

Thames - whatever. They had to have someone bat righty. "Defense" in left ought to be spectacular when teamed with a Gibbons platoon. Gwynn's going to have to come in as a defensive replacement in the third inning.
Kepler though is so typical Ned - best years were 5-10 orbits around the sun behind him. Might as well sign Gabe Kaplan.
One thing's for sure, Paul's gone without ever having had a decent chance.
Now signing Chavez Thursday will just be the icing of this offseason.

I can understand signing Marcus Thames ,but Kapler? That better be a minor league contract.

It's time to just stop signing people, this is getting really embarrassing.



Dodgers Pitchers may not appreciate the defense in Left Field
when Thames or Gibbons are out there on patrol.
Try to induce the opposing batters to hit the ball on the ground if you can boys,
Keep the ball on the ground.
Ted Lily, when Thames or Gibbons are playing behind you in Left Field, good luck.

Memo to Marcus:
Demand cash from this Frank guy on Tuesday.

Well this sort of a turn to power by the Dodgers is very refreshing.

The Dodgers have a terrific rotation, role players and our 'core' kids hitting contract years...they certainly lack left hand relievers but overall this is shaping to be a better team than last years squad. Go Blue!

See ya, Xavier Paul... Please try not to hurt us that bad if/when you turn into the next Jayson Werth...

The good this is maybe the Dodgers won't have to play Tony Gwynn Jr. As a matter of fact, maybe he won't even make the roster at all.

LA42: The Dodgers are looking at signing Kapler to a minor-league contract.

skyharbor ... excellent, on target (again)

That's just wonderful. Way to go, Ned. Thames is an American League DH, period! Of those 82 games last season with the Yankees, he was the DH in 34...he played the outfield in 32 (25 in left). In 87 games the year before with the Tigers, he was the DH in 50 of them...he played outfield in 34 others. Oh, and last year he struck out 61 times in those 212 at-bats. In 2009, he struck out 72 times in 258 at-bats. And sorry, Kapler doesn't do it for me, either...he's done. You're right, Steve...modest upgrades...very modest

You have to wonder what Jerry Sands' numbers would be after 82 games. How much different would they be from Thames numbers?

We are about to sign a guy who un-retired and hit a whopping .210 last year.

This is getting worse :(

Another HORRENDOUS move by the Dodger brass. After seeing this guy play left field you'll think Manny was a Gold Glover.

Thames' best quality is that he is a gamer and can field decently. Left field has been a shaky glove for us for some time, i.e. Manny, Gibbons, etc. Gibby and Thames make a good right-left platoon. This move helps the psyche of Kemp and Ethier.

I think we are good to go now. (A situational lefty reliever can be found down the road.) This trade also takes pressure off Casey Blake, who might have had to move to left. Let Blake play where he has done a decent job for us, i.e. 3B.

What will become of the Dodgers this year? As many have said, much of that fortune hangs on two things: the resurrection of Kemp, Ethier, and Loney; and a promising 5-man rotation playing at its best. I believe if those things happen, the Blue is capable of winning the wild card. The Giants should take the division with their exceptional pitching. But to take the wild card, we have to outdistance the improved Mets and hold off the always pesky Rockies. The NL championship series will be Phils, Cards, Giants, and Dodgers, with the Blue facing off against--who else? The Phils. Good luck! They have the most fearsome starting pitching in the history of the game!!

Same old, same old. Stock the club with secondary players. This is only an upgrade from bad to worse. Of all the bums we sign I suppose one will shine

Retread City. Weak.

It still gets down to pitching no matter who and how many Colletti signs. The Dodgers have a good pitching staff, but will one of them step up and have a Cy Young type of year? Remember Orel Hershier? You have to have that stud, that when he throws his glove on the mound, your chances of winning in the playoffs are increased.

Hallelujah!!! Just what we needed! More 34-year old .250 hitters who can't field!!! Or run even! Actually, I'm not being accurate, these guys ASPIRE to hit .250... they won't do it in 2011.

Mediocrity, thy name is Dodger.

Personally, I always favored the young players like Xavier Paul. I hope that Xavier Paul gives the Dodgers a great performance defensively and offensively at left field this spring. Competition is good for the young guys especially when you're going against veteran free agents.He didn't really get his opportunity all year last year so this is the time to step it up.

Xavier Paul is not going to be another Jayson Werth. When Werth was in L.A., he showed a glimpse of the power hitter he has now become, and it was only because of a regime change (or two) that Werth got lost in the shuffle, with the result that only us fans knew what he was capable of, and regretted losing him. Paul has never showed much power, though he's a nice fielder and hits ok.

Hollywood Dodger Mark: Gibbons had lazer surgery on his eyes seven years ago. During the offseason, he had an additional, follow-up surgery on his left eye last fall. But now that eye has apparently flattened and it's having difficulty holding his contact lense in place.


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