Jon Heyman of SI.com and MLB Network tweeted that the Yankees have struck again, this time nabbing another former Tiger favorite in Marcus Thames.
Thames signed a minor league deal that will pay him $900,000 if he makes the major league club this year. Thames originally made it to the majors with the Yankees back in 2002, when he famous homered in his first big league at bat, an at bat that came against Randy Johnson.
The past six years in Detroit, Thames established himself as a streaky power threat. Although he has never been given even 400 plate appearances in any one season, Thames has twice clubbed better than 20 homers in a year. 99 of his 101 career long balls came in a Tigers uniform. He slugged better than .500 with an OPS of .808 during his tenure with the Tigers. He was removed from the roster following this past season and made a free agent.
This is a sad day at MCB, as Thames has long been a favorite of mine. We wish him well and hope he is able to stick with the Yankees big club. As Jim Leyland has said about Marcus, “That guy is a three run homer waiting to happen.”
The first time many of you will get to (or be forced to) see Thames and again-teammate Curtis Granderson with the Yankess will be on March 21. That’s the third of four Spring Training games to be televised on FSN Detroit this spring. FSD also announced the regular season TV schedule today.
According to the release, 161 of the 162 games will be broadcast this season, with four of those being tabbed for Saturday telecasts on big Fox. 156 games will be broadcast on FSD, one game is currently slated for FSD Plus and just one game, April 7 at Kansas City, currently un-aired. On that date, the Tigers play at the same time as the Pistons and Red Wings, whose games are already scheduled for FSN airwaves.
Greg Hammaren, Senior VP/GM of Fox Sports Detroit, said “It is our goal to provide coverage of all three of our teams’ games on April 7 to create a great triple-header of Detroit sports. We’ll know in the coming weeks if that will be possible.”
Considering that date marks just the second game of the season, and the possible debut of Max Scherzer in a Tigers uniform, one would hope they can work something out. Typically, MLB Extra Innings runs a free preview week during the first week of the season, so out-of-towners will likely be able to pick up the Kansas City feed of the game, but if you are in the local viewing area, you will be blacked out and may have to subscribe to MLB.tv to see that game.