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I didn’t expect to see Eric Thames’ name on the free agent market

We learned today that the Milwaukee Brewers are broke. Not only did they send a thoroughly decent depth starter to the Blue Jays for a pack of magic beans, but they also declined the very reasonable $7.5 million option on a productive player in Eric Thames.

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I mean, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re broke. Milwaukee could be more inclined to spend cash to bring back Yasmani Grandal or Mike Moustakas, or they might even sack up and do something about their shitty rotation. Who knows! Better yet, who cares!

Anyways, Thames adds another interesting name to the market that could be a fit with the Blue Jays. When I talked about bringing home Edwin Encarnacion a little while back, I said the fit is a little more complicated than you’d think at a glance because the team is prioritizing having a first baseman who can also play other positions.

We know about Thames’ bat. It’s good. He slashed a .247/.346/.505 line last season while clubbing 25 homers. That would be a nice, big lefty bat to throw into the middle of Toronto’s lineup. But what about his glove? Thames mostly plays first base, but he can also patrol the corner outfields, too. He isn’t a great fielder by any means, but he isn’t, like, Teoscar Hernandez level bad.

Adding Thames would give the Jays a lefty bat at first base that could also play the field in a pinch. His bat would be an upgrade on Justin Smoak, his glove at first wouldn’t be as good, but he would also have added speed and versatility. The thing getting in the way of this kind of addition would be how much of a priority it is for the team to use internal options at first.

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Is Rowdy Tellez going to get another full-season opportunity? Are they going to try and create their very own internal Eric Thames in Teoscar Hernandez? I guess we’ll find out.

ALSO, if we’re bringing home former Blue Jays, Brandon Morrow is also on the open market after having his option declined by the Cubs. There’s a nice buy-low risk for the bullpen!