NEW YORK (AP) — Marcus Thames agreed Monday to a minor league contract with the New York Yankees, who also finalized a $1.1 million, one-year deal with Randy Winn to give themselves more left field options.
Thames, who turns 33 next month, began his major league career with the Yankees in 2002 and homered on his first big league pitch that June 10 off Arizona's Randy Johnson. Thames was traded to Texas in June 2003 for Ruben Sierra, then let go by the Rangers after the season.
He spent the last six seasons with Detroit and hit .252 with 13 homers and 36 RBIs last year, down from 25 homers and 56 RBIs the previous season. He would get a $900,000, one-year contract if added to the 40-man roster and have the chance to earn an additional $900,000 in performance bonuses.
The right-handed-hitting Thames could find himself alongside center fielder Curtis Granderson, his former Tigers teammate, and complement the switch-hitting Winn, who hit .292 from the left side last year and .158 from the right. Thames batted .257 against lefties and .248 vs. righties.
Speedy Brett Gardner also is in the mix for outfield playing time.
Winn's $900,000 in performance bonuses are based on plate appearances against left-handed pitchers only. He would get $100,000 each for 50, 75 and 100, and $150,000 apiece for 125, 150, 175 and 200.
Winn's deal, reached Jan. 27 subject to a physical, pretty much eliminated any chance Johnny Damon had of returning to the World Series champions.
Winn hit .262 overall with two homers and 51 RBIs for San Francisco last season. The 35-year-old was an All-Star in 2002, when he batted .298 with 14 homers and 75 RBIs for Tampa Bay.