It's a one-year, $4-million deal with a $4-million mutual option for 2021, a source told Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Thames will earn a base salary of $3 million in 2020, with a $1-million buyout cost on the mutual option.
Thames effectively replaces Matt Adams as a left-handed first-base bat for Washington. As Adams did in 2019, Thames likely needs a right-handed-hitting platoon partner. It's still possible that longtime Nat Ryan Zimmerman could be re-signed to fill that role once again, according to Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post.
The 33-year-old Thames spent the last three seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers, where he served as one of their primary first basemen. Over his three seasons in Milwaukee, Thames slashed .241/.343/.504 with 72 homers, 161 RBIs, and 400 strikeouts to 155 walks.
Last year, Thames appeared in 149 games and posted a .851 OPS with 25 homers, 23 doubles, and 61 RBIs. He was primarily utilized as a righty masher, clubbing all but two of his homers against right-handed pitching while making just 62 plate appearances against left-handers.
Thames became a free agent when the Brewers declined his $7.5-million club option at season's end.
He began his big-league career with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2011 but failed to initially make an impact in the majors. After jumping to the Korea Baseball Organization's NC Dinos in 2014, he broke out as a superstar in that country with three spectacular seasons that eventually led to his MLB return.
Thames' deal continues a busy new year for Washington, which also reportedly re-signed reliever Daniel Hudson to a two-year, $11-million deal on Monday. The defending champions have also added Will Harris, Starlin Castro, and Asdrubal Cabrera over the past five days.