The trade winds are blowing. On Sunday Peter Gammons mentioned Marcus Thames as a player the Tigers have made available. Now the Freep has two articles mentioning the fact that Thames is a trade candidate and that with 2 weeks left before the season, the phones are getting more active.
In the past when Thames name was floated, it was usually in an effort to acquire another big league player, like a relief pitcher. But with the pen seemingly in decent shape at the moment, this is more a matter of balancing a crowded outfield situation.
The starters are pretty well set (Guillen/Granderson/Ordonez) and the bench is tight and predominantly right handed. Working against Thames are his right handedness and the fact he can’t really back up in centerfield. Other right handers like Brent Clevlen (out of minor league options) and Ryan Raburn can play all 3 outfield positions. Thames spot could become Jeff Larish’s who could spell Cabrera and Inge on the infield and provide some left handed pop. Or it could become Clete Thomas’s who can also play all 3 outfield positions.
The downside to trading Thames is that you know what you get with Marcus. In the event of injury to a corner outfielder who you have veteran who will be able to provide some plus power. And if you look at left field an injury is really very likely. The other guys mentioned have much less of a track record and ceilings that aren’t remarkably high. It also would mean an end to the annual “Why isn’t Marcus Thames starting” debates.