Tag:Jim Thome
Posted on: November 23, 2010 2:19 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 12:29 pm
 

Hamilton runs away with AL MVP

Josh Hamilton wins the American League MVP, and while it wasn't quite the landslide that Joey Votto's NL victory was, it wasn't close, either.

Hamilton collected 22 of the 28 first-place votes, had four second-place votes and two fourth-place votes for a total of 358 points. Detroit's Miguel Cabrera was second, finishing with five first-place votes and 262 overall points. Robinson Cano was third (229) and Toronto's Jose Bautista was fourth with one first-place vote and 165 total points.

Josh Hamilton Here's the final voting
Josh Hamilton, Rangers 358
Miguel Cabrera, Tigers 262
Robinson Cano, Yankees 229
Jose Bautista, Blue Jays 165
Paul Konerko, White Sox, 130
Evan Longoria, Rays 100
Carl Crawford, Rays 98
Joe Mauer, Twins 97
Adrian Beltre, Red Sox 83
Delmon Young, Twins 44
Vladimir Guerrero, Rangers 22
Rafael Soriano, Rays 21
CC Sabathia, Yankees 13
Shin-Soo Choo, Indians 9
Alex Rodriguez, Yankees 8
Felix Hernandez, Mariners 6
Ichiro Suzuki, Mariners 3
Jim Thome, Twins 2
Joakim Soria, Royals 1
Mark Teixeira, Yankees 1

An interesting note, both of the MVPs made their debut for the Reds in 2007, Hamilton on opening day and Votto after rosters expanded in September. The Reds traded Hamilton after the 2007 season to the Rangers for pitcher Edinson Volquez and Daniel Ray Herrera.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.


Posted on: November 16, 2010 11:38 am
Edited on: April 18, 2011 11:24 am
 

What's the market for Manny?

Hot Stove There's a 12-time All-Star on the market, a career .313 hitter with 555 home runs. And yet when people talk about the big names in this winter's free-agent crop, Manny Ramirez's name doesn't even come up.

As Bill Shaikin discusses in the Los Angeles Times, Ramirez, 38, has gone from front-line star to afterthought after a 2009 drug suspension and a 2010 season that saw him limited to 90 games thanks to three trips to the disabled list. He was claimed off waivers by the White Sox in August and played 24 games for Chicago, batting .261 with one homer and two RBI.

Now the guy who two years ago was worth a two-year, $45 million deal finds himself wondering where there's a market for him.

Manny Ramirez
"It's just like Vlad Guerrero," Ramirez's agent, Scott Boras, told the Times. "His last Angels season, where he had an injury season and he had 50 RBIs, was not a customary Vlad Guerrero season. He went to Texas and reestablished himself.

"This is really the course for great veteran hitters. We've seen, following an injury season, a player goes out and performs at optimum levels, because these players are still uniquely skilled. They're still great hitters."

It appears Ramirez is done as an outfielder, at least on any regular basis. There are 14 DH spots available, and many of the prominent ones are filled. Guerrero is a free agent again, as are Jim Thome, Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui. The Times figures the market for Ramirez could be down to the Tigers, Rays, Blue Jays and maybe the Orioles. And Ramirez will probably have to accept a one-year deal with incentives and prove he's still an impact player.

Boras is hopeful, and armed with his usual supply of Boras-speak.

"I think Manny Ramirez is a Hall of Fame hitter," he said. "Teams look at that ability and, if they adjudicate that ability is still intact, they're going to be seeking those extraordinary talents before they proceed elsewhere."

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: November 3, 2010 11:25 am
Edited on: November 4, 2010 9:01 pm
 

Predicting where free agents will land

Baseball is currently in a five-day period where teams have exclusivity to negotiate with players who have become free agents. Sunday at midnight, that period will expire and free up players to talk to any and all teams.

There's plenty to like about this free-agent crop, as the top players at each position is enough to put together a contending team. Plus, there are a good number of nice backup options, too.

Below, you can find Evan Brunell's predictions on where free agents will wind up, going position by position with two names at each position.

Martinez C: Victor Martinez -- Tigers. All the noise surrounding Detroit going hard after Martinez seems legit. It's part of Detroit's M.O., filling a position of desperate need to contend and Martinez is the best option and remains capable of catching. Plus, Detroit has no major block at first or DH for an eventual switch for V-Mart as Alex Avila apprentices.

C: John Buck -- Yankees. Jorge Posada will be receiving most of his at-bats as a DH and Francisco Cervelli certainly can't start. The Yankees will flex their financial muscles on a catcher which they can bring in on a short-term contract who broke out in Toronto last season. It solves the catcher conundrum short term and leaves the long term free for Austin Romine.

Dunn 1B: Adam Dunn -- Cubs. Another popular pairing that makes too much sense. The Cubs need to strike to stay in contention even as they try to get their minor-league system in order and producing over the next couple of seasons. Dunn's defense is minimized now that he's at first, and the Cubs need someone to sky them big flies. (And if the Cubs really are not going after big-name free agents , which I doubt is 100 percent true, I'll tab Dunn to the Athletics .)

1B: Aubrey Huff -- Giants. Unfortunately, while bringing in Huff eventually paid off big time for San Francisco, he is now overrated. With Brandon Belt tearing up the farm, there's no overwhelming reason to give Huff anything close to what he can get on the market. I have a feeling Brian Sabean will do what he always does, signing older players coming off big years to nonsensical contracts. You know it and I know it. Sleeper alert: The Giants move forward with a Mark DeRosa/Travis Ishikawa platoon at first, leaving Huff to land with the Mariners .

Hudson 2B: Orlando Hudson -- Padres. The O-Dog will be on the move again, looking for his fourth team in four seasons, fifth overall. He's long wanted to join the Mets, but Luis Castillo has prevented him from doing so. The Padres plan to contend, but still need the dollars to make sense for who they bring in, and it will for Hudson to plug a vacancy at second with no viable internal options.

2B: Bill Hall -- Twins. Hall is looking for a starting job, but there are those telling him he is best suited as a super utility player. Look for Minnesota to give him a chance at the starting 2B job, but the Twins will love moving him around once they can justify it.

Jeter SS: Derek Jeter -- Yankees. I think a lot of people are going to be a bit surprised by how long the negotiations take. Despite popular sentiment, Brian Cashman is not one to pay someone beyond actual value. What he does have is disposable income that the owners can order him to pay a premium, so Cashman will do just that -- but only at a small premium.

SS: Juan Uribe -- Giants. This is one return that makes sense. Edgar Renteria isn't being brought back, even if he doesn't retire. Pablo Sandoval's struggles at third and Uribe's ability to slide to third as need be will be coveted by San Francisco, and he deserves the deal he'll sign for. It's a very weak market for shortstops, so even those that could be available in a trade (Jason Bartlett?) may have too prohibitive a price.

Beltre 3B: Adrian Beltre -- Angels. Los Angeles makes the big strike here, importing a gifted defender who had a great season with the stick. He won't hit .321 again, but he'll be a signing on the level of Torii Hunter. He's expensive but will produce and help put L.A. back into postseason contention.

3B: Miguel Tejada -- Padres. San Diego was pleased with Tejada's production after acquiring him from Houston and will sign him to play his natural position of short even though he began the transition to third base last season.

Crawford LF: Carl Crawford -- Red Sox . Crawford will spark a bidding war between the Red Sox, Angels and some other team yet to be known, plus a late charge by the Yankees (you know it'll happen). In the end, the Red Sox will win out, offering just enough to entice Crawford to Boston.

LF: Marcus Thames -- Phillies. Thames built his value this past year, establishing himself as a strong platoon option against left-handers who surprisingly held his own against righties. The Phillies are interested in bringing in another right-handed hitter to pair with Ben Francisco, and Thames seems like the perfect low-cost, high-upside option.

Damon CF: Johnny Damon -- Astros. Damon may be a center fielder, but it's in name only as he's restricted to left and DH at this point of his career. No contending team is going to be interested in starting him, but he can still land somewhere where there's a faint glimmer of a chance at the postseason. Damon can be the grizzled, scrappy veteran who can lead them to the top. Welcome to Houston, Johnny!

CF: Melky Cabrera -- Royals. Cabrera's stock is down. Way, way down. He'll have to latch on with a bottom-feeding club who gambles on his tools. Kansas City seems like the perfect place to do that. With an up-and-coming farm, he could fit in seamlessly if he takes his job seriously. If he doesn't, the Royals simply move on.

Werth RF: Jayson Werth -- White Sox. It makes a lot of sense for the White Sox to go after Werth -- they have their own bandbox and need someone who can play the outfield and who could DH in his off days. Carlos Quentin's defense needs to be hidden or moved to first if they don't bring Paul Konerko back. Helping matters is Chicago has the money to make it happen.

RF: Andruw Jones -- Braves. Coming off a strong season for the White Sox where he proved he can still bring it, just not quite as a full-time outfielder (although that possibility does exist), Jones seems like he could make a return to Atlanta. The Braves have a need to remake their outfield, and Jones seems to be a perfect piece of the puzzle.

Thome DH: Jim Thome -- Twins. No reason for Thome to leave the Twins, really. He had a strong season there, became a cult hero, has been loyal to his teams and Minnesota definitely could use this slugger back provided the two can agree on how much playing time he will get. Having Delmon Young, Denard Span, Michael Cuddyer, Jason Kubel and Justin Morneau doesn't leave much room for Thome, but it worked out just fine in 2010.

DH: Manny Ramirez -- Rays . Manny is a DH and probably will find the market a bit hostile towards him. He's not upper-echelon any longer, but not many teams need a DH. After long and overdrawn-out negotiations thanks to Scott Boras, ManRam will finally sign around the beginning of spring training and coast into town to help the Rays and what could be a moribund offense.

Pavano RHSP: Carl Pavano -- Brewers. Pavano is set to cash in on his success with the Twins and is certain to be in a position where he can outdo accepting arbitration thanks to a poor right-handed starter's market. Milwaukee needs to find starting pitching and fast, and the Brewers proved last year with Randy Wolf they weren't afraid to go get it. Wolf's struggles won't be enough to deter Milwaukee from Pavano, not when a Wolf-Pavano-Yovani Gallardo rotation would do wonders in the NL Central.

RHSP: Hiroki Kuroda -- Dodgers. Kuroda's been a bit overlooked on the national stage, as he truly is a strong pitcher. The Dodgers want -- need -- to contend, so they'll make sure Kuroda goes nowhere. They do need to slash salary, but a lot of that was tied up in Manny Ramirez, so there's plenty for Kuroda.

Lee LHSP: Cliff Lee -- Rangers. Buy into Texas being players for Lee and Lee eschewing the bright lights of New York just as long as the money is there. And it will be. The wife likes having him close to home, he's going to be on a contending team and get his money. There isn't much reason to move to New York.

LHSP: Jorge De La Rosa -- Tigers. Detroit has money to spend and a need in the rotation. De la Rosa will flirt with quite a few teams, Yankees included, but it's Detroit who will step up. It needs a strong pitcher in the rotation to have any hope of contending, and de la Rosa falls right into the bracket the Tigers are comfortable with.

Soriano RHRP: Rafael Soriano -- Angels . L.A. has said all the right things in moving forward with Fernando Rodney as a closer after moving Brian Fuentes, but the Angels bullpen was in tatters all season and Rodney is not good enough to block Soriano, who is one of the best closers in the game but will find a rough market.

RHRP: Joaquin Benoit -- Rays . Benoit's price tag is going to be high, but the Rays will be faced with a barren bullpen. Why not bring back someone they know can do it for them? They can entice Benoit with the possibility -- probability -- about taking over as closer.

LHRP: Scott Downs -- Red Sox. Downs is a Type-A free agent, but Boston will gladly fork over its second-rounder after Crawford gives Tampa Bay its first-rounder. The Red Sox want to beef up their bullpen after years of trolling through cast-offs. Downs has been coveted for a while, and Boston will take the plunge.

LHRP: Brian Fuentes -- Marlins. Florida wants to contend, but needs some help in the bullpen to do so. Knowing the Fish, they won't be looking to spend big at the position, but Fuentes is a nice, safe and affordable pick to be the new closer they want.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: October 14, 2010 5:31 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 11:25 am
 

R.I.P White Sox: Never a dull moment

As the sports world waits for the crowning of a champion, 22 other teams are busy preparing for spring training. What went wrong for these teams, and what does 2011 hold? MLB Facts and Rumors here at CBS Sports will be answering those questions through all of October. Now: the Chicago White Sox.

There's one thing about these Chicago White Sox, they're never dull. And that was the case again in 2010 as Kenny Williams and Ozzie Guillen had their own reality show and provided more than enough fodder in an ultimately unsuccessful season.

WHAT WENT WRONG

Jake Peavy The vaunted White Sox rotation never quite lived up to its billing -- Jake Peavy (pictured, left) had his search cut in half with injury, and even before that he was medicore, going 7-6 with a 4.63 ERA. Mark Buehrle, John Danks and Gavin Floyd were merely slightly above average.

The team's hole at designated hitter was only magnified by watching their old flame -- the one they dumped -- marry up, as Jim Thome not only hit 25 homers, but he did it for the division-winning Twins. And then there's Manny Ramirez ... but that's an old story.

WHAT WENT RIGHT

The White Sox went on one of the longest hot streaks of the season, a stretch of 25 victories in 30 games to erase Minnesota's 9 1/2-game lead. But after that, the team just couldn't keep it going and saw its own lead in the division disappear.

Paul Konerko (pictured, below) had a fabulous season, hitting .312/.393/.584 with 39 homers and 111 RBI. (If you're talking about Konerko, it's good for him this season came in the final year of his contract.)

HELP ON THE WAY

The White Sox got a glimpse of the future at the end of the season. Brent Morel played 24 games and didn't put up the prettiest numbers at the big league level, but he could be the starting third baseman next season.

More impressive was 2010 first-rounder Chris Sale. The organization expects the left-hander to start. As a reliever -- in an attempt to limit his innings -- Sale showed the potential of a future ace. Fresh out of a small college, he wasn't intimidated by big league hitters, appearing in 21 games and amassing just a 1.93 ERA. He struck out 32 batters in 23 1/3 innings and walked 10 with a WHIP of 1.071.

Paul Konerko EXPECTATIONS FOR 2011

Since winning the World Series in 2005, it's been title or bust for Williams and Guillen. That's not going to change now.

SUGGESTIONS FOR 2011

The biggest question for Williams will be if he can afford to keep Konerko, a White Sox mainstay. Konerko had a huge year and is a free agent, but he'll also be 35 on opening day and will command a big price tag, plus a multiyear contract. If you're going to spend that kind of money, why not give Adam Dunn a shot? Or, heck, go for broke (which they've been known to do) and sign both. The team certainly wouldn't lack power with a Konerko-Dunn tandem.

It'll be easy to let Bobby Jenks go, but who to replace him as the club's closer? I like Matt Thornton, but I'm not so sure Williams/Guillen is ready to lean no the lefty and take him out of the set-up role.

2011 PREDICTION

The Magic 8 Ball tells us to ask again later, there's too much time between now and April to know just what the White Sox will look like. This much is sure, the White Sox will be interesting, even if it's just the manager and general manager.

Check out the rest of the R.I.P. reports here.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .




Posted on: October 10, 2010 10:48 am
 

Thome likely to be back

Jim Thome
Jim Thome, one of the season's big surprises, said after the Twins were eliminated Saturday night that he'd discuss the future with his family, but that he's leaning toward returning.

"Yeah, I think I'm going to come back," he told the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

Playing for his third team in two years, the 40-year-old slugger hit 25 home runs in just 340 plate appearances, put up a 1.039 OPS overall and batted .302 against right-handers. All for the bargain basement price of $1.5 million ($1.7 million after plate-appearance bonuses). You can bet his asking price will be going up.

--David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .
Category: MLB
Tags: Jim Thome, Twins
 
Posted on: September 24, 2010 1:15 pm
 

Thome may retire if he gets a ring

Jim Thome Jim Thome plans to play again in 2011 after a wildly successful 2010 with the Twins puts him at a .280/.412/.631 line with 25 jacks in 335 plate appearances.

However, if Minnesota somehow pulls off a World Series victory in 2010, that would hand Thome his first ring after appearances in the 1995 and 1997 series. And to hear Thome tell it, that might make him walk away from the game.

"There would be nothing better than going out with a ring, I think," the 39-year-old told the St. Paul Pioneer Press . "That would be something very special. We'd have to sit down over the winter and really think it out. I don't know; we'll see what happens."

Thome would certainly command a raise over the $1.5-million base salary he's earning. His 2009, split between the White Sox and Dodgers, represented a .847 OPS that was his lowest since an injury-shortened 2005 and prior to that, was his worst since a part-time season back in 1991, when he was 22. The resurgent year, however, has shown Thome can still hack it with the best of them despite what baseball constitutes as old age.

However, would he return to the Twins?

With the emergence of Delmon Young, that answer is not easy. Justin Morneau will man first next season while Michael Cuddyer would return to the outfield alongside Denard Span and Young, with Jason Kubel the primary DH and rotating into the outfield. That squeezes Thome out of a full-time job -- and even a part-time one with solid playing time.

If Thome plays beyond 2010, he'll likely have to find a new home to DH. A return to the White Sox make sense, although manager Ozzie Guillen still resists the idea of a full-time DH, preferring to pay part-time players with part-time talent to rotate throughout the field. The Yankees are another possibility, as Thome's home-run power would play incredibly well at Yankee Stadium.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .
Category: MLB
Tags: Jim Thome, Twins
 
Posted on: September 4, 2010 5:35 pm
Edited on: September 4, 2010 5:36 pm
 

Thome passes McGwire

Jim Thome Jim Thome continues to climb up the all-time home run list. In the first four innings of Saturday's game, Thome tied and passed Mark McGwire for ninth on the all-time list.

Thome hit his 20th of the season in the third inning and 21st int he next inning, marking his 584th career homer. He is now two behind Frank Robinson for eighth on the list.

Is now 6 for 8 in his career against Colby Lewis with three homers and nine RBI.

The 40-year old is now hitting .270/.392/.616 (through three plate appearances) -- not too shabby for a guy on a  one-year, $1.5 million contract.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .



Category: MLB
Tags: Jim Thome, Twins
 
Posted on: August 23, 2010 9:57 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 11:53 am
 

Rangers' no-hitter broken up in 9th

Rich Harden The Rangers' Rich Harden has a no-hitter through six innings against the Twins.

Harden has walked four and stuck out five.

However, it's taken him 94 pitches to get through six and Ron Washington had a reliever up and warming in the bullpen after a leadoff walk in the sixth. A double play and a long fly later, the Harden went back to the dugout, nine outs away from the season's sixth no-hitter.

This is Harden's first start off the disabled list with right shoulder tendinitis.

The Rangers lead 3-0.

UPDATE: After Joe Mauer flied out and Jason Kubel struck out, Harden walked Michael Cuddyer on four pitches. He threw 111 pitches and Ron Washington came out to talk to Harden before replacing him with lefty Matt Harrison to face Jim Thome. Harden had only thrown more than 111 pitches once this season.

UPDATE: Thome lined out to end the seventh. The last combined no-hitter in the big leagues was June 11, 2003, when Roy Oswalt left after one inning with an injury and was followed by Peter Munro (2 2/3 innings), Kirk Saarloos (1 1/3 innings), Brad Lidge (2 innings), Octavio Dotel (1 inning) and Billy Wagner (1 inning).

UPDATE: Darren O'Day retired three consecutive outs to set up Neftali Feliz to finish off the no-hitter.

UPDATE: Feliz is in. Denard Span pops up for the first out. Orlando Hudson walks. Joe Mauer singles up the middle on an 0-2 count to break up the no-hitter. Well played, Mauer.

UPDATE: The Rangers finish out the one-hitter and win, 4-0.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .




 
 
 
 
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