Frank Thomas was believed to be close to signing with Oakland, and then a mystery team came in to the picture. That mystery team could be the Mariners, and should it?
How much upside does Thomas bring to the table compared to Jose Vidro, or maybe Jeff Clement? Thomas brings power and patience. That's it. Vidro brings a .290 AVG. That's about it. Clement brings both power and average, but hasn't developed his skills as much yet.
Thomas can still hit the ball hard, but hasn't found much consistancy so far this year. Vidro is only hitting about .200, Thomas .167, but Thomas has been able to provide more power than Vidro has.
Bringing in Frank Thomas makes sense, in the sense that he'll add power that Richie Sexson hasn't. He doesn't have 40 HR power, but 30 looks like a decent number to shoot for. The money won't be much of an issue. He gets paid off like $8M bucks from the Jays, so he'd probably settle for around $5Mish. If Thomas can come in and hit the ball hard and give the Mariners some baserunners, then he's a good signing. Probably the best reason not to sign him is the New York Yankee approach: Get the player so your rivals don't. The A's are known to be interested, and the Rangers are rumored to be. Thomas could add a power boost to either of those two clubs, giving them an advantage that could allow them to gain some ground on the Mariners early.
If Thomas comes in, where does that leave Jose Vidro? Thomas didn't put forth a good enough batting average, the reason for his release used by the Blue Jays, although everyone knows they released him so his option for 2009 wouldn't vest. Could the Mariners say that same thing about Vidro? He has a vesting option for 2009, and I doubt that many would want him back. Maybe releasing Vidro and signing Thomas would be a great move. It would allos more playing time to guys like Willie Bloomquist pinch running. I'm starting to like the idea of Frank Thomas coming here.