The Dodgers agreed to terms with OF Marcus Thames on Monday. They also signed free agent OF Gabe Kapler to a minor-league deal.
I've been on board with a Thames signing since we saw the Dodgers blow their money on Juan Uribe. In fact, earlier today I passed along the rumor from Danny Knobler of CBS Sports. I also wrote about it in December after the Dodgers lost out on Bill Hall. Thames was probably the best bat available who fit the Dodgers' price range. His defense is God-awful, but the Dodgers will just have to live with it. Besides, he won't get enough playing time to not justify this signing.
Other options included Scott Hairston, Jerry Hariston and Lastings Milledge.
Kapler is just minor-league/AAAA depth. He'll probably be ahead of Jamie Hoffmann on the depth chart.
Unfortunately, this signing pretty much spells the end of Xavier Paul's Dodger career. It's sad because he always had nice talent and ability, but never got a fair chance with the Dodgers. Oh well. I hope he catches on somewhere (preferably outside the NL West) and has a nice career.
This should be the last "big" signing for the Dodgers this off-season -- and I use "big" very loosely. The fact of the matter is, the Dodgers don't have a lot of room left on the 40-man roster or a lot of money left.
If I had to guess, Tony Gwynn would get first crack at the third outfield position. His defense is quite valuable in center field and would vastly improve the overall outfield defense. If he falters in Spring Training, he's probably no better than a fifth outfielder, creating a platoon in left field between Jay Gibbons and Thames -- thusly giving the Dodgers one of the worst defensive outfields in recent memory.