Dodgers reach agreement with Marcus Thames, close to signing Gabe Kapler


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The Dodgers are close to making some modest upgrades to their outfield, as they have agreed to terms on a deal with Marcus Thames and are close to signing Gabe Kapler to a minor league contract.

Thames, who will be 34 on opening day, is expected to provide the right-handed bat in a left-field platoon that will include Jay Gibbons.

Thames hit .288 with 12 home runs and 34 runs batted in in 82 games for the New York Yankees last season. He batted .300 with five home runs and 14 RBIs against left-handers.

Over nine major-league seasons, including six with the Detroit Tigers, Thames has hit .248 with 113 home runs and 294 RBIs.


Thames’ deal is expected to be finalized on Tuesday.

If Kapler signs with the Dodgers and makes their major league club, this will be a homecoming of sorts for the graduate of Taft High in Woodland Hills.

At 35, Kapler’s best years are about a decade behind him. He had what was arguably his best offensive season in 2000, when he hit .302 with 14 homers and 66 RBIs for the Texas Rangers.

Kapler retired after the 2006 season and spent the next year managing the Boston Red Sox’s class-A affiliate in Greenville, S.C.

Kapler returned as a player in 2008 with the Milwaukee Brewers. He played the last two seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays, batting .210 with two home runs and 14 RBIs in 140 plate appearances last year.

-- Dylan Hernandez