Yankees designated hitter Marcus Thames celebrates after his two-run… (Noah K. Murray / US Presswire )
The Dodgers went into spring training last year with Manny Ramirez in left field — a post-drug-suspension Manny Ramirez, but Manny Ramirez nonetheless.
This year: Marcus Thames and Jay Gibbons.
Flush with cash advanced to them by Fox, the Dodgers agreed to terms on a deal with Thames, who is expected to platoon in left field with the left-handed-hitting Gibbons.
The agreement was confirmed by a source who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deal is pending a physical examination. Terms of the deal weren't immediately available.
Thames, who will turn 34 on March 6, will provide the Dodgers' lineup with some pop, as he has averaged one home run every 15.6 at-bats over his nine-year career and hit 25 home runs as recently as 2008. He is a career .248 hitter.
Like Ramirez, Thames is considered a defensive liability.
Of the 82 games he played for the New York Yankees last season, 41 were as a designated hitter. He batted a career-high .288 with 12 homers and 33 runs batted in. Against left-handers, he hit .300.
Thames' anticipated platoon partner, Gibbons, recently left his winter ball club in Venezuela and returned to Los Angeles because of vision problems. Gibbons, whose condition is said to have improved, will be examined this week.
In other news, the Dodgers are close to signing veteran outfielder Gabe Kapler to a minor league contract.
The Chicago Cubs have agreed to trade pitcher Tom Gorzelanny to the Washington Nationals for prospects, a person familiar with the deal told the Associated Press.
Center fielder B.J. Upton and the Tampa Bay Rays have agreed to a one-year contract worth $4,825,000, avoiding arbitration. … The Kansas City Royals have reached agreement with pitcher Robinson Tejeda on a one-year deal worth $1.55 million. … Pitcher John Lannan and the Nationals have avoided salary arbitration by agreeing to a $2.75-million, one-year contract.
Johnson would want to meet with Anthony
New Jersey Nets Coach Avery Johnson said he hasn't been told of any potential meeting with trade target Carmelo Anthony but wants to be a part of it if one does happen.
Reports surfaced Sunday that the Denver Nuggets gave the Nets permission to talk with Anthony to persuade him to accept a three-year, $65-million extension, which could pave the way for a three-team deal that would send the All-Star forward to New Jersey. Anthony said Sunday night in San Antonio he didn't want to talk to any potential trade suitors.
Davis Love III didn't have much success against Jose Maria Olazabal as a player in the Ryder Cup. Now he gets to see how he fares against the Spaniard as a captain.
Two officials involved with the selection process confirm Love will be the next U.S. captain. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the official announcement won't be until Thursday at Medinah in Illinois, where the 2012 matches will be played.
Reports from Europe indicate Olazabal of Spain will be introduced as captain Tuesday at the Abu Dhabi Championship.
NASCAR is considering scrapping the points system it has used since 1975 in favor of a simpler method that awards points per finishing position, the Associated Press has learned.