The Mariners acquired the left-handed hitting outfielder from the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday in exchange for relief pitcher Steve Delabar. Thames, who had been playing for Class AAA Las Vegas, was added to the Mariners' 25-man roster before Tuesday's game.
"It's amazing," Thames said. "It's a fresh start. With everything that happened in Toronto this year, it's nice to join a great group of individuals and a great team."
Thames split time with the Blue Jays and Las Vegas this season. He hit .243 with three home runs and 11 RBI in 46 games in the majors, and hit .330 with six home runs and 32 RBI in his 54 games in Class AAA.
On Monday, Thames was trying to work himself back to the majors with Toronto. On Tuesday, he was back in the majors -- with Seattle.
"I haven't slept much, like three hours last night," Thames said. "I just couldn't sleep, there was a lot going on. I'm excited."
Thames charmed the media for a little over four minutes before Tuesday's game with his outgoing personality and smile. He even cracked a few jokes.
When asked how he viewed the trade from his perspective:
"As a win for the Mariners," Thames replied with a laugh.
A few moments later he took a friendly shot at one of his new teammates when asked which of the Mariner players he had met before.
"Tom Wilhelmsen, got him earlier in the year...dinger," Thames joked.
Thames was referring to a home run he hit earlier this season off Wilhelmsen while with Toronto. Thames remembers the at-bat well, but added Wilhelmsen has also gotten the better of him before, too.
"I remember it was the eighth inning, it was tied 3-3 and (it was) a fastball down the middle and, I don't know -- it was loud," Thames said. "But it was funny because it was Tom and Tom is kind of a goofy cat so he's always just laughing and he's just a great guy, so it was just a joke between us. But he has owned me plenty of times, so I'm allowed that one little shot."
Mariners manager Eric Wedge said he hopes to be able to take a good look at his new outfielder.
"Ideally, I'd like to try to see him as much as we can," Wedge said. "It's kind of a juggling act, obviously, with everybody. But primarily against right-handers, but I don't rule him out against left-handers either."
Thames has played 141 games in two stints in the major leagues. He is hitting .257 with 15 home runs and 48 RBI for his career. He said used his most recent stint in Class AAA to work on the things within his control.
"It was my first time dealing with some of the intangible things in baseball," Thames said. "As a ballplayer you can't control everything. You can't control where you get sent, if the organization is happy with you or if you are driving the ball or not. So, I had to just focus on myself in the minor leagues. I just had to focus on playing the game the right way, respect it, play hard and let all the chips fall where they should."
Pryor and Capps called up
With the trade deadline behind them, the Mariners made the necessary roster moves to fill out their 25-man roster before Tuesday night's game.
The team called up right-handed relief pitchers Stephen Pryor and Carter Capps, while optioning outfielder Carlos Peguero to Class AAA Tacoma. It will be Pryor's second stint with the Mariners and Capps first appearance in the major leagues.
The Mariners had three roster spots available after trading relief pitcher Steve Delabar to Toronto and relief pitcher Brandon League to the Los Angeles Dodgers following Monday's 4-1 victory over the Blue Jays, and optioning Peguero on Tuesday.
Capps played 38 games this season with Class AA Jackson, before moving up to Tacoma. He made just one appearance with the Rainiers striking out three of the four batters he faced on Monday against Tucson.
"It was pretty weird because I felt like I stayed a while in Jackson," Capps said of his quick move to the big leagues. "In my one outing in Tacoma I had a good outing, so I'm thankful for that."
Wedge had a bit of advice for his 21-year-old righty.
"One thing I did talk to Carter about was to just be yourself," Wedge said. "Don't try to do anything more. Just focus on the fact that it's baseball, you'll get around the fact that it's the big leagues. Obviously you're first outing is always special, but everybody reacts to it differently so we'll have to see. Eventually, if not right away, you get settled in and you are able to out there and have the type of heartbeat that you need to have."
Catcher Jesus Montero is batting .351 (20-for-57) with eight runs scored, four doubles, two home runs and 12 RBI since the All-Star Break. ... Third baseman Kyle Seager added another two-out RBI on Monday bringing his major-league leading total to 37 going into Tuesday night's game.
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