Poll: Where Will Jim Thome Sign?

After uncertainty early in the offseason, Jim Thome's mind is made up — he'll play in 2011. Any team would love to have Thome's 2010 production on board. The likely Hall of Famer hit .283/.412/.627 and blasted 25 home runs for the Twins, moving into sole possession of eighth place on the all-time home run leaderboard.

However, Thome is unlikely to repeat that line, and few teams can afford his reported asking price. We learned last week that Thome is looking to make up for the meager $1.5MM contract he signed last year, possibly seeking as much as $8MM on a one-year deal.

There's also the fact that several teams already have their designated hitter spot filled and don't have much wiggle room with their roster to accommodate someone who's strictly a DH.

We know there's mutual interest with the Twins, but they picked up Jason Kubel's $5.25MM option and seem to be focusing on Carl Pavano for the time being. The Rays freed up some money in the Matt Garza trade, and have an opening at DH, though $8MM would likely still be too much for them. Batimore was recently linked to Vladimir Guerrero, even after signing Derrek Lee, so one would think Thome should appeal there as well. Same goes for the Angels, though they have Bobby Abreu and Juan Rivera.

Toronto committed $2.5MM to Edwin Encarnacion, but Thome could platoon with him at DH if the Jays plan on using Adam Lind at first base. If Detroit decides to use Victor Martinez as their primary catcher in 2011, Thome could join his fourth AL Central team as their DH as well.

There's no clear fit for Thome in terms of roster flexibility, team need, and available payroll, but eventually, someone will bring him on board and watch him close in on the elite 600 home run mark. Thome sits just 11 homers shy of that honor, and while his health is no guarantee, I'm not betting against him reaching that plateau when he can still hit homers like this one. Let's open it up to everyone:


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38 Comments on "Poll: Where Will Jim Thome Sign?"


Green_Monster
4 years 7 months ago

I see him signing with the rays

4 years 7 months ago

The Rays would much rather save the money, and they have Matt Joyce anyway.

I could see the Jays making a push, as ol’ Jim Jam would be a big upgrade over E5 Edwin

Green_Monster
4 years 7 months ago

How much are you expecting Thome to cost?

4 years 7 months ago

Maybe in the neighborhood of 7-8 mil? I dunno what his market is like outside of the Twins.

4 years 7 months ago

oh hahaha it totally says this in the article, i pulled that out of nowhere.

either way i don’t see the rays investing that much in someone who *might* get 400 ABs

coolstorybro222
4 years 7 months ago

LOL yeah he would get that if he was like 10 years younger and came off a 40 homerun season

Pete
4 years 7 months ago

Really hope Twins or Rays, he’s a nice piece on either squad. Gotta love Thome!

4 years 7 months ago

The Rays make a lot of sense. They don’t have anyone locked in DH, and they lost a ton of power when Pena left. With Friedman saying the Garza money will be allocated, why not spending it on a major position of need?

4 years 7 months ago

I can’t imagine anyone giving him more than $5 million. I figure Matsui is more in-line with Thome than Berkman is as far as salary goes. Berkman is going to “play” the outfield while Thome is strictly a DH and more than likely a part-time DH in an ideal situation.

4 years 7 months ago

Come on Jays. He can mentor lunchbox.

PJaysW
4 years 7 months ago

Encarnacion will be platooning with Lind at first and Manny Ramirez will be signing with TO.

Here’s why:

On the day AA was leaving for the GM meetings (the early one) he was scheduled to be on the Jeff Blair show on the Fan 590. He called in late from the airport and informed Blair that he had just finished hammering out a signing. Blair asked who it was, and AA declined to comment.

A couple days later it was revealed that someone who works at the Score had his picture taken with Manny at Pearson International the same morning that AA was there. Manny, as we know by now, has been frequenting Toronto this offseason because his girlfriend lives there.

So, its true that it could be a complete coincidence that they were both in the airport that morning whether Manny is going to be a Blue Jay or not, but I ask then:

Why has the signing AA claims to have worked on that day not been announced? It wasn’t any of the free agents signed this offseason because EE was part of the A’s at that time, and the relief help thats been acquired developed later with a number of teams in the mix (i’m thinking Dotel specifically). Davis was traded for, and Cory Paterson is likely minor league depth, and therefore why not mention it? Why hasn’t Manny been linked to ANYONE? I realize he comes with baggage, but there hasn’t been so much as a quote out of ManRam since he expressed interest in the Jays.

It was also rumoured that because of how busy Boras has been this offseason that Manny was negotiating directly and in person with the Jays front office after Farrel was brought in.

THE ANSWER:

The Manny Ramirez signing is going to be announced late, leading up to Spring Training to get Toronto excited about Baseball and the Jays in an attempt to increase attendance which was painfully low last year.

I think Manny should hit 3rd, in front of Jose because his OBP is so high, and the hope is that Jose can launch at least 30 HR’s next year.

a TO lineup of Davis, Escobar, Manny, Bautista, Wells, Snider, Lind/Encarnacion, Hill, Arencibia/Molina is, in short, diiiiiiiiiirty.

4 years 7 months ago

That lineup could end up being pretty good or pretty bad. I don’t see there being an inbetween.

PJaysW
4 years 7 months ago

yea, lots of questions that i’m banking on being sure things.
davis? escobar? manny? bautista? wells? snider? lind? encarnacion? Hill? Arencibia?

you know what you’re going to get with Molina at least!

4 years 7 months ago

You could’ve said the same thing about Bautista last year. 😉

Lunchbox45
4 years 7 months ago

no offense, but thats a load of crock..

If you paid closer attention to the interview, AA said he was tied up ON THE PHONE… SO Alex was on the phone with Manny even though they were face to face??

Manny was in T.O because he’s dating a girl here and came down to watch the bills in Toronto. I doubt very much they sign EE and then sign Manny, both offer little flexibility defensively coming off the bench.

PJaysW
4 years 7 months ago

its all conjecture, so i’m not losing sleep over the doubts. the interview was months ago, so whether i listened closely or not, i think i can be forgiven for misremembering, just ask Brian McNamee or that pitcher guy he worked with.

As far as defensive flexibility goes, EE will get spot starts at third base, and they’ve already said he’s being brought back as a 1b/DH, so hes not exactly useless in terms of his flexibility and the different looks the Jays can go with on the field.

Seems entirely plausible that there are enough at-bats to go around for the three of them at the 1B/DH positions, without ruining the flexibility defensively. Hell, they had Overbay who was a strict 1B with Millar on the bench as a 1B/DH and then this past season Randy Ruiz did nothing to improve the defense before he left. So this has already been done by this organization.

Besides, whether this is all wrong or not, AA sure sounded freakin excited on the phone with Blair that day, and theres been no word about who that signing involved. I admit, it could have fallen through, but I’m still going with my hunch that its being kept quiet to get people excited right before the season starts, that Manny is going to sign for less to be in TO, and that when a player like Manny expresses interest in your organization and the new Manager, you work to make it happen. If I’m right, buy me a beer at RC next summer wontcha?

4 years 7 months ago

With all the juicing and hulk-like figures that resulted from it, it’s amazing to think Thome could actually avoid allegation and make the HOF. If any guy epitomized the juicer stereotype, it was him.

jrogowski
4 years 7 months ago

How do you justify this? I am not saying it couldn’t be possible, but you need to provide some justification if you’re going to accuse someone of being the prototypical juicer.

RedSoxDynasty
4 years 7 months ago

Anything is possible, but to accuse Thome is just wrong! He’s always been consistent with his numbers without crazy 50 hr years and he’s done it for at least 7 years with testing! His body doesn’t fit the bill either! If you want to be suspicious look at Jeff Bagwell! Major power jump and huge muscles and arms yet never caught! Probably was smart and crossed the Mexico border himself to purchase his gear IMO! FYI, most juicers seemed to play near Mexico at some point in their caterer, ie Texas or California teams( Bonds, McGwire, Canseco, Juan Gonzales, Ivan Rodriguez, Clemens, Pettitte,Palmeiro etc)

Triteon
4 years 7 months ago

jrogowski is absolutely right. Add in that Thome’s career power numbers follow a natural curve — in contrast to, say, Barry Bonds — and it’s irresponsible to offer a statement like yours without evidence.

StitchesAndSeams
4 years 7 months ago

I’m quick to say the Twins, but if he was going to sign with the Twins, why wouldn’t they have already signed him??? They’re taking an awful long time just to re-sign him….

4 years 7 months ago

Do you feel the same about Pavano?

Mauerneau
4 years 7 months ago

It’s the Twins… when was the last time you saw them sign a player in December? Last year Hudson and Thome didn’t sign until late January

tank1976
4 years 7 months ago

It would be a feel good story if he signed with the Indians for one year and then retired- as an Indian.

Soxman17
4 years 7 months ago

Why would he return to Cleveland after the way those fans have treated him? I’ve never seen such a class act be treated with such rampant disrespect.

firstavenger
4 years 7 months ago

Alright Angels, it’s time to upgrade. Sign Thome or Guerrero as a full time DH, and deal away Rivera/Abreu AND Napoli/Mathis for as much as you can get prospects-wise. Sign Scotty Pods for cheap and that’ll be a worthwhile offseason, IMO.

4 years 7 months ago

I don’t see Thome getting $ 8MM. There are too many other DH types still looking for work. It’s a buyer’s market for DH’s and relievers at this point. More like $ 5MM on a one year deal, and the Rays look like a great fit for him.

diesel2410
4 years 7 months ago

I only see Thome going to the Rays if the price dips to between $3-4 million. If not, I see him signing with the Twins or Orioles

baybombers
4 years 7 months ago

O’s gotta sign vlad! the yanks and sox wont use em as a sparring partner anymore

johnsilver
4 years 7 months ago

I don’t see Ramirez or Thome going anywhere until Vlad signs and sets the market for the few jobs left amongst the DH only types since he is far away the best among them.

Vlad may get 5-6m, but really have a hard time seeing Thom, or even Ramirez getting more than 3m base, though I do see them getting incentives that could raise the salary up to 5-6m based on AB’s. Especially in the case of Ramirez to force him to play.

firealyellon
4 years 7 months ago

Thome will goto the team that will guarantee him the most at bats. TB is probably that team. 1yr-$6M?

4 years 7 months ago

8 million dollars is way to much for a guy who won’t be able to play even close to every day. I say you prorate that down to the 60% of games you can expect him to start and give him 4-5 million as a base. Still a tad high but the 600th HR chase should bring you back a bit in money as well.

4 years 7 months ago

8 million dollars is way to much for a guy who won’t be able to play even close to every day. I say you prorate that down to the 60% of games you can expect him to start and give him 4-5 million as a base. Still a tad high but the 600th HR chase should bring you back a bit in money as well.

PJaysW
4 years 7 months ago

Far superior in the field to Lind and has serious power potential. He has had injury concerns since being in Toronto. Before some of you go crazy, its his arm that is awful, hes a fantastic glove.

I think he showed up from Cincinnati with wrist issues, which didn’t clear up in the offseason, so he started last year late.

He also had his face blown up last new years by his brother in a firework mishap.

Then he had some leg issue according to Cito which made it impossible for him to look like he was putting in effort running out grounders.

He had time on the DL for something else last season, but it may have been the wrist again.

Anyways, he hit 3 homeruns in a game against Arizona in which the Jays hit 6 solo HR’s and lost, a MLB first, and hit 10 in 7 games in september. If he starts the year healthy and maintains, he’d really only hit against southpaws so Lind would see more time, and of course spell Manny when he needs a 4-5 game injury/vacation midsummer.

PennMariner
4 years 7 months ago

Lind vs. LHP (2010): .117/.159/.182 with 2 HR.
Lind vs. RHP (2010): .275/.327/.502 with 21 HR.

Encarnacion has some power he’s waiting to unload, and over his career he’s shown more of it vs. LHP’s (career .847 OPS and 28 HR in 600 AB). If he wasn’t always playing hurt, those numbers would likely inflate even more. The real question is why would you not platoon them?

firstavenger
4 years 7 months ago

No, I want to replace sloppy defense and below average offense with proven talent. And no one’s trading Haren, dude. The Angels are over capacity in outfield and backstop, so its’ time to get some return for those extra players.

niched
4 years 7 months ago

Signing Vlad or Thome does not preclude the O’s getting more pitching. And their starting pitching is already looking pretty decent. If Britton comes up and does well this year then O’s could have one of the better rotations in the AL.

niched
4 years 7 months ago

I like the idea of the O’s signing Thome or Vlad too. But I’d rather see them trade Luke Scott over Reimold, though I wouldn’t mind seeing them trade Pie. Luke Scott is getting expensive, he is under control for two more years, and I doubt he has the kind of year he had last year again. Plus Luke Scott has decent trade value. Reimold could still break out to become one the O’s best hitters, despite his achilles problem. Sure you could trade Reimold, but the O’s hope they have a sleeper in Reimold. The offseason report on Reimold has been very encouraging. I’d like to see the O’s trade Luke Scott for a young first base threat like Yonder Alonso of the Reds. Though it might take Reimold and another player to get Alonso.

BTW, no way Matt Wieters bats second. If Wieters starts hitting well, he’ll be in the middle of the pack, not near the top of the lineup. Markakis should bat second with Lee batting third. Scott or Reynolds should bat clean-up. If Wieters starts to find his stroke then he bats third or fourth and everyone else drops back a spot.