Eric Thames‘ time with the Astros was short. Claimed off waivers from the Orioles in September, Thames now leaves the organization having never donned a uniform.
News broke Friday that Thames had been signed by the NC Dinos of the Korean Baseball League — it just took a while to get it translated into English. And the first report wasn’t even in Korean!
Unlike the complex Japanese posting system that is still a work in progress, sending U.S. players to Korea is more of a barter system. Rumor has it that the Astros received $50 and a 20 lb. bag of rice in exchange for the 27-year old outfielder.
The move leaves the Astros with a total of 36 players remaining on the 40-man roster, leaving plenty of room for additions to be made at the upcoming winter meetings. Many Astros fans were already wondering why Thames was left on the 40-man anyway.
Thames heads to Korea having played in 181 big league games over parts of two seasons. A 105 OPS+ in his rookie season gave reason for the Blue Jays to be excited. But his star would soon fade as the strikeouts began to pile up and Thames was traded in the middle of the next season.
Now Thames heads overseas in an effort to resurrect his career. Apparently the prospect of playing in Korea was more appealing to Thames than being part of the Astros organization.
Eric Thames (Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports)