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Jim Thome signs with Phillies

Posted on: November 4, 2011 7:03 pm
Edited on: November 5, 2011 4:33 pm
By Matt Snyder

Jim Thome spent three seasons in Philadelphia and now he's headed back for one more. He has agreed to a one-year contract with the Phillies, the team announced Saturday. The contract is worth $1.25 million.

One would expect Thome's role to simply be a left-handed power bat off the bench, as he hasn't played more than a three games in the field in a season since 2005. General manager Ruben Amaro said as much after the signing:

“We’re very happy to be able to bring Jim back to Philadelphia at this point in his career,” said Amaro in a statement.  “He will be an option for Charlie to use off the bench each night and brings a great attitude to the ballpark every day.”

Other than a symbolic appearance at third base to end the 2011 season, he's been either a designated hitter or pinch hitter since 2007.

The interesting thing here is that Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard is recovering from surgery that repaired his torn Achilles tendon shortly after the Phillies lost to the Cardinals in Game 5 of the NLDS (Howard suffered the injury on the final out). Reports have indicated Howard could make it back by opening day but he's going to have to avoid any setbacks and that the timetable still seems pretty aggressive. So perhaps the Phillies try to use Thome at first in the early weeks of the season? It all depends on how much they want his bat in the lineup in comparison with how much defense they're willing to sacrifice. Thome has said that he's going to come prepared to play defense when he reports to camp this spring.

Thome, 41, became just the eighth man in baseball history to slug at least 600 career home runs when he hit No. 600 this past season as a member of the Twins. He was then traded to the Indians -- where he began his career -- in late August. Thome was with the Phillies from 2003-05, but he was only the full-time starter for the first two years. By the third year, Howard had taken over as the starter at first base as Thome battled injuries -- clearing the way for the Phillies to trade Thome to the White Sox after the season. Still, Thome definitely likes the organization.

"Every player sees the way the Phillies have done things," Thome said. "They've set the bar very, very high."

And his relationship with Phillies manager Charlie Manuel is really solid.

"Everyone knows my relationship with Jimmy," Manuel said. "But he's not here because of that. He's here to contribute to our team in a positive way, both on and off the field."

The 2012 season will be the 22nd of Thome's illustrious career. He played in the World Series in 1995 and 1997, but still doesn't have a ring. Winning the World Series would seem to fill the only void left in Thome's career.

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Since: Dec 13, 2008
Posted on: November 5, 2011 11:33 am

Report: Jim Thome signs with Phillies

Clearly Howard is probably injured more then they are letting on....or once healthy they trade Howard.

Since: Jun 19, 2009
Posted on: November 5, 2011 11:08 am

Report: Jim Thome signs with Phillies

Good for Jimmy.  I hope he can get a ring writh the Phils.  He was a class act here for the last month and a half.  Nothing beats the night that the Indians honored him and he hit a mammoth home run to straight away center.  If nothing else he sold tickets and kept the fans interested when we were out of the pennant race.  It was a smart move by the Indians and it patched up a bad relationship.

Since: Feb 28, 2009
Posted on: November 5, 2011 11:02 am

Report: Jim Thome signs with Phillies

I can't believe any Phillies fan would knock this move.
Not only will Thome provide a great clubhouse presence, he can come off the bench once Howard comes back, and gives the team some sort of power threat without him in the lineup for the first month or so.
This also allows Howard to take his time, and not feel pressure to rush back from his injury.
However you still have all the idiots who go well is going to play shortstop? Well no, because after all, there is a whole thing called the free agency period the Phillies still have to go through.

Since: Mar 28, 2009
Posted on: November 5, 2011 9:33 am

Report: Jim Thome signs with Phillies

Great to have this class act back in Philly!  He could potentially be very effective as a spot start and pinch hitter in the Phillies small park.  Hopefully, he doesn't have to be used too much. 

Since: Nov 1, 2009
Posted on: November 5, 2011 9:32 am

Report: Jim Thome signs with Phillies

Really a surprise here.  The Phills are definitely looking for power in their temp replacement for Howard.  If they were looking for a 80 game replacement they might have done better with slick fielding, powerless, James Loney.  Too bad Billy Butler is a righty.  His doubles swing would produce more homers in Philly. 

Since: Feb 10, 2011
Posted on: November 5, 2011 8:58 am

Report: Jim Thome signs with Phillies

Nice to see that the Phillies have found a solution to their short stop issue.

Since: Oct 23, 2006
Posted on: November 5, 2011 8:40 am

Report: Jim Thome signs with Phillies

The Phillies drastically overpaid Ryan Howard so now they need to find some stopgap players on the cheap.   Thome can still swing the bat but is going to be a liability in the field.    By the start of next season Thome will not have played in the field in six years!!


Very surprised that Thome did not stay in the American League to be a part time DH and well as a solid left handed bat off the bench.

Since: Apr 5, 2011
Posted on: November 5, 2011 3:34 am
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Aug 3, 2011
Posted on: November 5, 2011 3:31 am
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Oct 14, 2008
Posted on: November 5, 2011 3:27 am

Report: Jim Thome signs with Phillies

Wow! That is so off. Please don't even comment if your facts are so off and you have no idea what your talking about.

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