Jim Thome Signs One Year Deal With Phillies
By Mike Brandyberry
If blogs existed in 2002 we might be able to recycle the lede of the story, but Jim Thome has left the Cleveland Indians to play for the Philadelphia Phillies.
This time, it wasn’t about the money, but a chance to contribute to a team with the possibility of a championship. Thome signed a one-year, $1.25 million contract to reunite himself with long time manager and friend, Charlie Manuel. Thome, who can no longer play everyday because of back issues, hit .256, with 15 home runs and 50 runs batted in during 2011, a season split between Minnesota and Cleveland. Thome’s season was highlighted by becoming the eighth player in Major League Baseball to hit 600 home runs.
The slugger will mostly be used as a left handed pinch hitter off Manuel’s bench, but the Phillies could consider trying to play Thome occasionally at first base early in the season. Thome has not seen any regular time at first base since 2006, but he could help fill the hole left by Ryan Howard‘s achilles injury suffered in the National League Division Series. Howard is expected to miss the first two months of 2012.
While the Indians said they would like to have Thome return for 2012, it seemed improbable. Travis Hafner, another player unable to play the field, is signed for 2012 and is owed $13 million by the Indians.
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