According to Patrick Newman over at NPB Tracker, there’s a chance Marcus Thames could sign with the Softbank Hawks in Japan.
At the very least, Softbank seems to be pursuing Thames.
It seems to me that Thames could make more money in Japan than in the states, but he’s also coming off a strong enough season that I think he would generate considerable major league interest. Probably as a platoon player, but even so, I’m not sure he’d have to settle for a minor league deal this time.
Of course, it was a minor league deal that brought Thames to the Yankees this offseason, a signing that might have been Brian Cashman’s best deal of the winter. The signing happened late, and Thames wasn’t even on the 40-man roster until the very end of spring training.
Thames said several times that he was surprised to receive such little interest last winter, and I can’t help wondering if that process might have spooked him, leaving him to consider a quick jump to Japan if the opportunity feels like a good one. Hard to know for sure, though. This could be nothing more than one-sided interest.
Associated Press photo