Indians Acquire Jim Thome

Jim Thome once helped the Indians reach six playoff berths in seven years. Now, after a nine-year absence from Cleveland, Thome is back and the Indians are hoping their all-time home run leader can help them pass the Tigers in the standings and reach the playoffs once again. 

Jim Thome

“Jim Thome is a Hall of Fame-caliber player and person. He has meant so much to this organization – both on and off the field – and it is an honor to bring him back in an Indians uniform where he created so many great memories," GM Chris Antonetti said in a statement. "Having his bat and presence in the middle of the lineup certainly improves our team"

Thome, the newest member of MLB's 600 homer club, accepted a deal to the Indians last night. The Indians announced that they'll send a player to be named later to the Twins on or before October 15th.

The veteran, who turns 41 in two days, had the right to reject any deal as he holds a no-trade clause. Reportedly, Thome's preference was to return to Philadelphia where he played from 2003 through 2005.

Thome's homecoming is much more than a feel good story for the Tribe. He's sure to see a lot of time at the DH spot with Travis Hafner on the disabled list and possibly out for the year.

Thome (pictured) is the Indians' all-time leader in home runs (334) and walks (997) and he is among the franchise's all-time leaders in RBI (2nd, 927), extra base hits (3rd, 613), on-base percentage (3rd, .414) and slugging percentage (3rd, .567).

Nick Camino of WTAM 110, Buster Olney of, Scott Miller of and Jordan Bastian of reported on the move last night. Photo courtesy Icon SMI. Ben Nicholson-Smith contributed to this post.

52 Responses to Indians Acquire Jim Thome Leave a Reply

  1. mauerfan 4 years ago

    Lonnie Chisenhall would be a nice 18th bday gift for tomorrow. 😀

    And YAY for Bill Smith for making a business move!!!!!!

  2. Cliff Lee 4 years ago


  3. JacksTigers 4 years ago

    Who would have guessed that the Twins would make the most trades to the ALC this season?

  4. Phillies_Aces35 4 years ago

    Wish him luck.

  5. Not sure it is a “feel good” story for Cleveland. He left Cleveland high and dry when he left

    • Hermie13 4 years ago

      Not really.  yeah he took more years/money but the Tribe got Hafner who really wasn’t much worse over the course of Thome’s deal.  In fact, several years he was better. (and yes, I know Hafner is vastly overpaid, but that’s beside the point)

  6. cusoman 4 years ago

    Best of luck to ya big man, you deserve any accolades that come your way.

  7. GoFish 4 years ago

    Next up: C.C. Sabathia!  No, wait…Cliff Lee!   No, wait….Brandon Phillips!  Bring all of the ex-Tribe back!!!!

  8. Why is CLE buying?

    • they don’t wanna give up? 

    • MaineSox 4 years ago

      I don’t think it’s about Cleveland buying, I think it’s about bringing Thome back and maybe creating come excitement during what has become a disappointing season.

    • Hermie13 4 years ago

      Why is Cleveland buying?

      A) they aren’t out of it yet.  6.5 games is a lot and they are playing poorly…but do have 6 left against the Tigers, while being only 5 out in the loss column.  It’ll be tough, but the season isn’t lost…yet.

      B) It’s Thome

      C) There’s a chance Thome could be a Type B free agent.  According to the list here, he’s currently only 1 spot out of being a Type B.  Should he get there, Tribe could offer arby (only making $3M this year) and end up with a Sandwich pick.  Yeah, Thome could accept (though he could go to another contender) or he could retire, thus negating the draft pick (should he get there), but a nice lil risk.

      D) They probably didn’t give up much of anything.

      Really a win-win for the Tribe.  Even if they miss out on the playoffs, they brought a fan favorite (still) and Cleveland legend back.  Nice for the fans.

      • Bernaldo 4 years ago

        Its been reported here (Twin Cities) that the PTBNL does indeed depend on whether or not Thome reaches Type B status and if Cleveland wins the division.  Don’t know if that is exactly correct but it does make some sense.  I’d bet the house that the PTBNL is not someone of Chisenhall’s prospect status though it may well be someone in the 10-15 range if Thome reaches Type B.

      • brian310 4 years ago

        sadly the Tribe fans booed him every chance they got while here in Chicago we cheered for him every game he came back and played in

  9. 0vercast 4 years ago

    Funny thing is, tomorrow night (Fri.) the Twins are giving out the Jim Thome Wind Up Walker trinket to the first 20,000 fans at Target Field, and he’ll be an Indian.

    • brian310 4 years ago

      that reminds me of when Victor Martinez was traded to the BoSox and the next day was Victor Martinez bobblehead night in Cleveland

  10. I guess he really doesn’t care about winning a ring, its the only way accepting a trade to the Indians makes sense.

    • He supposedly left on bad terms for Philadelphia the first time.

      However, that’s a load of crap as Cleveland low-balled him and Cleveland fans(as we’ve seen with LeBron) are overly bitter and sensitive.

      I’m sure he wants to win but he is thinking of his legacy right now and doesn’t want to rock the boat.

      • kingoriole 4 years ago

        Honestly I don’t give a crap about the Cav’s; but their fans had every right to be bitter and sensitive; and certainly weren’t overly so.

        The man chose to make a TV special to dump his only team, and the fans who worshipped him. All while making the team think they had a chance – torpedoing their opportunity to start from scratch early in the offseason; and leading to one of the worst teams in a while.

        And the TV special sucked.

      • Phillies_Aces35 4 years ago

        He didn’t leave on bad terms. He gets an ovation every time he comes to Philly and he’d do anything for Charlie Manuel.

        He was traded because of Howard, and if you ask Jim Thome, it worked out for everybody.

      • JacksTigers 4 years ago

        They are still complaining about Carlos Boozer. And they all think that they’ve come up with something spectacular when they say “Boozer loser.” They are the most bitter fanbase in sports. No doubt about it.

  11. Christopher David 4 years ago

    I wanted him for Philly so bad, but this move makes more sense for him. He doesn’t play in the field, and at least as a DH he gets to hit every day. Oh well, at least he went to a team that doesn’t seem to be a playoff threat.

    • And how exactly was he going to clear waivers far enough down to get to Philly?

      Get me some of what this guy is smoking!

      • He could have blocked a trade to Cleveland and beengiven his release by the Twins, making a free agent able to sign with any team.

      • Christopher David 4 years ago

        Yeah it definitely wasn’t a realistic expectation, but people had been suggesting that the “block the trade and be granted release” scenario could happen, so I was just saying it would have been nice to have him. Obviously he would have never fallen to the Phils or been released, and he fits better w/ an AL team, so don’t worry, I knew it would never happen.

  12. And Thome accepts because he will likely be a HOF as an Indian and doesn’t want to be hated for rejecting them for Philadelphia.


    Poor guy…

  13. luis2738 4 years ago

    Seems like a courtesy trade to me. The Indians trail in the standings and probably aren’t going anywhere, and Thome is nearing the end of his career. Might as well be where it all started.

  14. Otis26 4 years ago

    Just what the Royals needed – more of Jim Thome. I think he’s hit like 500 of his home runs against us.

    • Dynasty22 4 years ago

      Huh? He’s been in your division the whole year…

  15. As an Indians fan who grew up watching the machine that was the 90s bomb squad, and just a general baseball fan who was devastated when the Tribe didn’t make an effort to re-sign this guy, there is definitely something sweetly sincere in this. I wish the Thomenator the best and hope that the team can learn from his veteran leadership (There has been a substantial hole since we traded off O-Cab).

    I for one cannot seem to fathom how awesomely nostalgic it will be to watch Thome poke a couple more blasts out at the Jake (Progressive Field for you younger folks)  while wearing a Chief Wahoo and his patented high socks. The Tribe just went from a team that has possibly played itself out of the postseason to a team that has won back some viewers.

    • NorCalTribeFan 4 years ago

      It is incorrect that the Indians “didn’t make an effort” to re-sign Thome.  They offered a five year deal with real money.  Once the Phillies offered six years with a higher annual salary, Thome insisted that sixth year was crucial to the deal.  They basically outbid the Indians.  No way the Tribe could afford a contract like that.

      I remember vividly seeing Thome win a game in July that year with a walk off knock.  The capacity crowd went nuts, clearly trying to show him how great it would be to stay.  He claimed he would never leave.  This was clearly untrue. 

      His return is bitter-sweet, to me.  I thought he was different than most ballplayers in that he put loyalty over the extra few million bucks in his massive portfolio.  I don’t blame him for making an obvious business decision.  I blame him for giving die hard Indians fans the strong impression that his relationship with us was more than business.

      • I guess $11-13 Million would handcuff a club in the early 2000s, especially one with the uncertainty of the tribe: current payroll, nearly half of what it was a couple years ago. I cannot blame Thome for that, the Indians could have easily did what the Phillies had to do in 2005, and spun him off. Matching the offer wasn’t that ridiculous since they would have been on the hook for the same price over 5 years anyway, could have back-loaded the contract.

        In all honesty, I sort of chose to block that experience, in retrospect at least it wasn’t as bad as the greed of Sabathia forcing us to make a trade.

  16. rbeezy 4 years ago

    Can he pitch? Indians need Starting pitching to close the gap. Pointless move, tribe are done this year.

    • Dynasty22 4 years ago

      Hafner is injured, they needed a DH, and they’re 6 games out with 6 more with Detriot. Not pointless.

  17. mets1983 4 years ago

    I was very happy to see this deal get done. You always like when a player who has a long career goes full circle as we have going on in Queens right now with Jason Isringhausen starting his career with the Mets as Generation K and coming back in 2011 to obtain his 300th save but the way Izzy is pitching he might get himself a deal in the off season with another Team but thats not the point, Bottom line Best of luck to Jimmy Thome and the Indys.

  18. mets1983 4 years ago

    I was very happy to see this deal get done. You always like when a player who has a long career goes full circle as we have going on in Queens right now with Jason Isringhausen starting his career with the Mets as Generation K and coming back in 2011 to obtain his 300th save but the way Izzy is pitching he might get himself a deal in the off season with another Team but thats not the point, Bottom line Best of luck to Jimmy Thome and the Indys.

  19.  My toast?

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