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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: Oct 4, 2007
Posted on: November 4, 2011 11:28 pm

Report: Jim Thome signs with Phillies

I just want to add a tip of the hat to Tom Couston (from Hegewisch!!), the scout who signed Jim Thome to his first professional contract.  22 years in the big leagues!  Good eye Tom.

Since: Jun 17, 2007
Posted on: November 4, 2011 11:26 pm

Report: Jim Thome signs with Phillies

This is great!  Thome, an easy Hall of Famer who has earned his fan base, will get a chance to play in the post-season with a chance at a Championship on a loaded team.  It's a win-win for everyone.  The fans, the Phils, and Thome.  The Phils are getting a bat that is still scary. The fans of Philly get Thome, and baseball fans in general, if Thome gets his Championship before he retires, will be happy.

Really, I like this.  Only him going to Texas to play first would have been better! 

Since: Jan 2, 2010
Posted on: November 4, 2011 11:24 pm

Report: Jim Thome signs with Phillies

Bad signing. Waste of a crucial roster spot off the bench. He whiffs too much to be an NL PH. 

Since: Mar 9, 2011
Posted on: November 4, 2011 10:37 pm

Report: Jim Thome signs with Phillies

I thought this was gonna be signing with the Phils and then retire the next day as a Phil.

Since: Nov 1, 2006
Posted on: November 4, 2011 10:30 pm

Report: Jim Thome signs with Phillies

Its good sentimentally, but come on, what does he have left??  Can he even play the field??

Since: Jan 21, 2007
Posted on: November 4, 2011 10:08 pm

Report: Jim Thome signs with Phillies

As I had posted about a week ago, this is a great move for the Phillies, Thome, and the fans in Philadelphia.

Since: Jan 14, 2007
Posted on: November 4, 2011 10:08 pm

Report: Jim Thome signs with Phillies


Since: May 8, 2007
Posted on: November 4, 2011 9:31 pm

Report: Jim Thome signs with Phillies

Not a Phillies fan, but between Thome, Halladay, and a few others, I may just be cheering for them to get a ring next year. I like this signing, and I'm hoping to see Thome's glove in the field for a few games in the early part of the year. It's first base, it's not like he has to be stellar there, Ryan Howard ain't exactly moving like all that quickly.

Since: Sep 17, 2011
Posted on: November 4, 2011 8:44 pm

Report: Jim Thome signs with Phillies

Good for the Phillies and good for Jim Thome, now let's hope the Phillies can get this class act a world series ring.

Since: Sep 13, 2008
Posted on: November 4, 2011 8:30 pm

Report: Jim Thome signs with Phillies

Jim Thome is a class act and one of the all time greats, a favorite of any true baseball fan no matter which team he plays for. The type of guy who is a positive addition to any clubhouse and a great insurance policy against a slow return for Ryan Howard at first base. Good move Reuben Amaro. Welcome back to Philly Jim! 

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