(CBS) — Marcus Thames has signed a contract with the Dodgers, according to  Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times.

In Thames, the Dodgers would get a much needed right handed bat who can play the outfield. Interest in Thames was mentioned earlier today in a tweet from Danny Knobler of CBS Sportsline, and confirmed by Ken Gurnick of MLB.com this afternoon. Gurnick also mentioned Gabe Kapler and (lefty) Eric Chavez as other veteran bench options. Hernandez tweeted that the Dodgers are close to a minor league deal with Kapler, the Taft High School graduate.

The Dodgers have been in need of a third outfielder for a while to compliment Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp. The current depthchart includes Tony Gwynn and Jay Gibbons, both left-handed batters, as is  Xavier Paul. 

Thames in his career has hit .264/.333/.505 against southpaws, and has an OPS of better than .800 against lefties in each of the last five seasons. In the last five seasons, Thames has 33 doubles and 35 home runs in 640 plate appearances against left-handers.

Thames, who turns 34, made $900,000 with the Yankees last season, and hit .288/.350/.491 in 237 plate appearances with New York. The signing of Thames, when official, will give the Dodgers 40 players on their 40-man roster.

© Copyright 2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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