BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 24: Eric Thames #14 of the Toronto Blue Jays hits a solo home run during the third inning a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on April 24, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
In another late Monday transaction, the Seattle Mariners shipped reliever Steve Delabar to the Toronto Blue Jays for outfielder Eric Thames. Neither player qualifies as a prospect for our normal purposes here at Minor League Ball, but neither is a fully-established player, either, so let's take a look.
The 25-year-old Thames is a left-handed hitting outfielder, drafted out of Pepperdine in the seventh round in 2008. He had a solid rookie campaign in 2011, hitting .262/.313/.456 with 12 homers in 362 at-bats for the Blue Jays, but got off to a slow start in 2012 (.243/.288/.365 in 148 at-bats) and ended up back in Triple-A. He's killed the ball in Triple-A over parts of two seasons (.342/.415/.570) and, while he's played in the friendly environs of Las Vegas and the Pacific Coast League, he doesn't have much left to prove at that level. He profiles as a role player in the majors, being limited defensively to left field, but his bat is interesting.
The 29-year-old Delabar has a 4.17 ERA in 37 major league innings this year, with a 46/11 K/BB and 23 hits allowed, but has been touched for nine homers. His fastball has been clocked as high as 97 MPH and he works consistently at 93-94, mixing in a changeup and rare slider. Considered a minor league journeyman before this year, he's performed well enough to stay in the major league picture and is a perfectly competent middle relief arm. Delabar isn't likely to see action as a closer outside of a roster emergency, but most teams could use arms like this to fill out the pitching staff.