The Milwaukee Brewers may have fallen short on Opening Day, but a new import made his presence felt.
It was a long strange trip for Eric Thames to become a member of the Milwaukee Brewers this season. In 2013, Thames traveled a lot of miles just to be a professional baseball player. He played in both the Seattle Mariners and Baltimore Orioles organizations along with their AAA affiliates in Norfolk and Tacoma.
He signed in the KBO, playing for the NC Dinos and treated the league like he was playing MLB the Show on Rookie mode with all the sliders turned down. Thames had an OPS over 1.000 each of the past three seasons. He hit over .300 in each of those years including a whopping .381 in 2015. He hit over 35 homers and drove in over 100 in each of those years.
Thames became a free agent again after last season and the Brewers decided to let Chris Carter, the reigning co-leader of the National League in homers go free because they didn’t want to go to arbitration with him.
The Brewers gave Thames $15 million reasons to come back to the US over the next three seasons with a player option for 2020.
Thames will at least platoon at first base for the Brewers this season, with Jesus Aguilar making the roster as well to start the season, thanks to him hitting a robust .462 this spring.
With the Brewers facing Colorado Rockies ace Jon Gray yesterday, Thames got the start at first base. Thames was a big part of the offense as he hit a tying double in the Brewers 7-5 loss to the Rockies, his first hit in the majors since 2013.
For the Brewers, a team in the midst of a rebuilding phase, rolling the dice on a low cost addition like Thames is exactly what they should be doing. If he can prove he can be a fraction of what he was in Korea, with how cost effective his contract is, he could turn into a possible trade asset as well. Congrats to Thames on getting his first hit back in the show, now can he keep it going?