Phillies Shopping Thome To DH-Needy AL Teams

The Phillies are making Jim Thome available to American League teams in need of help at designated hitter, two AL executives tell ESPN's Jayson Stark.  Ruben Amaro didn't confirm that he was shopping the veteran slugger, but said "if there's a situation out there that benefits both Jim and the Phillies, we'll try to put something together."

"The ideal situation right now, because he can't really play defense in the National League, would be for Jim to play in the American League," Amaro said. "He still has the ability to win a game for us and be productive off the bench. The problem is, the further away he gets from regular at-bats, the more difficult it becomes for him to do that."

Thome spent a month on the DL with a back injury and is just 1-for-16 as a pinch-hitter for Philadelphia this season, but showed he can still produce with regular playing time, hitting .333/.415/.722 with four homers in 41 plate appearances while serving as the Phillies' designated hitter in interleague play.  This stretch convinced Thome that he is best suited as a DH and he has told the Phils that he would accept a trade to an AL team if a fit can be found.

Thome's friends say he would prefer to return to one of his former teams, but the Indians and White Sox have their DH spots filled and the Twins will be sellers instead of buyers at the trade deadline.  Among AL contenders, the Orioles stand out as having the clearest need for a DH, with the Rays (Luke Scott has struggled and Hideki Matsui hasn't produced much) and Rangers as darkhorse candidates, though Thome would be expendable in Texas once Mitch Moreland returns from the DL in August.


52 Responses to Phillies Shopping Thome To DH-Needy AL Teams Leave a Reply

  1. JR_Tolls1 3 years ago

    Back to Chicago?

    • harrigang 3 years ago

      You can learn a lot from reading the post…..

  2. stl_cards16 3 years ago

    Dunn, Youkilis, Konerko, and Thome all on the same team would be pretty……..entertaining.

  3. Could the Rays be a fit? Not sure who they have DH’ing these days.

    • randomkeys 3 years ago

      Hideki Matsui. And he’s not doing very well, so maybe Thome would be an upgrade.

      • Yeah I was going through the AL teams and they seemed like the best fit out of the current contending teams.

    • erm016 3 years ago

      That’d be my best guess. Or Baltimore. I hope it works out for Thome. Always thought he was a class act.

  4. The Orioles should make a move for him. Give the Phillies 2 young arms from single A

  5. Drat.  Was trying to convince myself that it wouldn’t come to this but… it was fun having him back while it lasted.

  6. shysox 3 years ago

    The White Sox could use him as much as the Phillies.. as a late inning pinch hitter. The only remote chance of him going to the White Sox is if De Aza is moved for someone, where Rios will shift to center, Viciedo will shift to right, and Dunn goes to left field. Obviously that is highly unlikely, unless (in the even more unlikely situation where) the White Sox try to acquire a pitcher such as Hamels or Greinke.

    • klassic 3 years ago

      Rios in center?  Worst idea ever.

      • shysox 3 years ago

        Rios played center for the better part of the past three years, and he wasn’t bad. 

  7. phillies1102 3 years ago

    The only 2 teams that would make sense in the AL are the Rays and the Orioles, and they both have strong bullpens (I guarantee you they will want an average reliever, because he would be the best in Philly bullpen). 

    Edit: I literally said this right before they put it up, thanks a lot MLBTR

    I would say Thome and an average prospect for Wade Davis, gives him a starting chance

  8. Robb Logan 3 years ago

    Would like to see him as a member of the O’s but I can see the Twins actually wanting his bat even if they are considered sellers. He owns target field and hits homers there unlike any player I have seen.

  9. Time to dump Delmon Young and pick up Thome… *crossing fingers for the dream to come true*

  10. frank_costanza 3 years ago

    As a Phillies fan, I’m greedily asking what can they get? He proved he could still hit in interleague, but that wasn’t even 50 AB’s. He has been on the DL with back problems.

    I’m not saying he can’t hit .275 with 10+ HR’s for an AL team in the second half, but it’s far from guaranteed. It’s hard to imagine the Phillies getting anything other than cash or a career AAA player.

  11. BradyAndersonsSideburns 3 years ago

    The O’s already have 3 DH’s in Davis, Reynolds, and Betemit.

    • True, but none of them hit as well as Thome.

      • BradyAndersonsSideburns 3 years ago

        Thome comes to Baltimore and I will have to watch Betemit play even more third base, and no one wants to see that

        • Then the O’s shouldn’t have signed him.
          Actually Betemit would have been a better fit for the Phillies in the first place.

  12. Rabbitov 3 years ago

    O’s getting a DH means they have to put one more of Betemit, Davis, or Reynolds in the field more times and it means no DH rest days for Wieters.  Not going to happen. 

    • Wieters doesn’t do any DH days anyway. Showalter doesn’t seem to approve of Paulino for some reason. Yet he gave Fox, Tatum, and Exposito all kinds of chances to prove their worth. Also, tonight’s effort isn’t exactly inspired. Although, Wieters had a legitimate stolen base. Still it’s Boras players 4 and O’s nothing
      3 run shot Damon
      Solo by Choo
      Ugh!

      • Rabbitov 3 years ago

        I think you are wrong on Wieters DHing but, and remember this day, I think your panicking on the O’s is totally justified.

      • Matt_P102 3 years ago

        Wieters has DH’d five times this year out of the eleven times he wasn’t catching. A 45% DH rate isn’t shabby.

        Paulino has played in 17 games. He’s not going to get a chance to catch much because they want Wieters catching most games. Wieters has taking a huge leap this year so they want him to catch as much as possible.

        It’s also worth noting that Paulino can’t hit righties so he isn’t very good.

  13. Magorphenger 3 years ago

    Why not go somewhere that needs veteran leadership and left-handed power. Mariners, go get him on the cheap 

    • Robb Logan 3 years ago

      Because the M’s have Jesus Montero as DH most days. It would be a pointless trade for them.

      • Charlie Burns 3 years ago

         Personally, I would love to see Olivio be traded for some more bullpen help and promote Montero to everyday and then Thome would be a perfect fit.  One can only dream, right?

  14. 1980CHAMPS 3 years ago

    Thome can’t hit NL pitching and can’t field.  Thome can hit AL pitching and can DH.  Ruben Amaro Jr is a genius.

    • Phillies_Aces35 3 years ago

      “Thome can’t hit NL pitching…” Not much of a difference between NL and AL pitching considering he’s facing Closers.

      • Guest 3 years ago

         true, though nl pitching is superior to al pitching.  and vice-versa for hitting (obviously)

        • Phillies_Aces35 3 years ago

          I don’t think it really has anything to do with the league. While the NL is superior in terms of pitching, the reason he’s struggled as a pinch hitter is because he can’t get enough at bats to stay sharp… not because of the league.

          He’s coming in after sitting on the bench and trying to hit guys who are either situational lefties or closers throwing 100.

          • Matt_P102 3 years ago

            You do realize that AL teams scored more runs against NL pitching then they do against AL pitching and that NL teams scored fewer runs against AL pitching than they did against NL teams?

            Pretty sure that indicates that AL pitching is better.

          • Guest 3 years ago

             well i also think it depends on a lot of factors.  LIke, thats a pretty small sample size.  Starting next year if that is the same case than its a legit argument, but I still think that when you look at it, there are more dominant pitchers in the NL. Not to say Verlander, Weaver, etc aren’t.  But the list in the NL is longer

          • lefty177 3 years ago

            yeah but you also have to take into account the fact that NL has pitchers hitting 1 time through the order as opposed to facing a David Ortiz every time through the order

          • Matt_P102 3 years ago

            I don’t understand.

            You don’t want to use actual data collected over 252 games because it’s a “small sample size”, despite the fact that it’s more than a full season. 

            Instead you seem to think that anecdotes are a more statistically reliable method. That’s simply not how statistics work. Even though the stat I quoted would be more statistically robust with a larger sample, it’s more than using anecdotes.

            In addition, the stats I quoted indicate that the AL pitching is better than the NL pitching. It could be that the NL pitching is top-heavy and that the mediocre guys in the NL are just awful.

            I’m not sure if you can compare the 2011 results to the 2012 results because the pitchers in each league change from year to year.

          • Guest 3 years ago

             yeah, but that also doesn’t necessarily even things out.

            For example, in our back to back sweeps in BOS & TOR our pitchers seemed to have very little problem maintaining performance, especially considering being on the road and facing a DH and facing 2 of the best lineups in baseball regardless of league.

            And when we got swept at home against new york it wasn’t the pitchings fault at all..the problem was that Zimmerman still didn’t have the light bulb go off to get a cortisone shot, and Morse still didn’t have his timing back after being out all year. And as a result our offense made guys like Phil Hughes and Ivan Nova look like the second coming of Cy Young and Walter Johnson (which we have done quite a lot this year to even the worst of pitchers)

          • Phillies_Aces35 3 years ago

            It’s a small sample size.

  15. HARRISON ROSE 3 years ago

    Definitely not going to the Sox. They didn’t resign him in 2010 when they felt they couldn’t get him enough at-bats…and they didn’t even have a DH! He’s a great guy and a good player, but just is not a fit. However, he’d be great for the Rays.

  16. jjmss1778 3 years ago

    Tigers should be all over this but nooo were probably gonna stick with good ol’ Delmon Young. Ugh

  17. Phillies_Aces35 3 years ago

    I think he’d be a great fit with Tampa Bay or Detroit. 

  18. ultimate913 3 years ago

    They’re only trading to teams from a certain league? Isn’t that leagueist?

  19. Mike1L 3 years ago

    The signing was unwise, and maybe Thome should have retired at the end of last year, although he has show he still had a few thrills left in him.  I’d like to see him go out on a high note.  We are going to miss him when he’s gone-a hardworking, well-liked, productive player.  And a Hall of Famer.  Pretty nice career.

  20. WrigleyTerror37 3 years ago

    Trade him to Detroit so that way he can say he has played for 4/5ths of the AL central!!!

  21. Devin Hughes 3 years ago

    The Indians don’t have the need per se, but the money they’d bring in alone just to acquire him would probably make it worth their while.

  22. I could see him going to Tampa.  Hopefully the Phils can get a good arm and an outfielder in return.  I like Leslie Anderson.

  23. joe dittmore 3 years ago

    i say jim  Thome whould be a great fit for the blue jays yanks tigers.

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