Talking to Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune, free agent DH Jim Thome reiterated yesterday that he'd be willing to return to the White Sox for the 2010 season. At the least, GM Kenny Williams seems open to the possibility.
Thome, 39, hit .249/.366/.481 in 434 plate appearances this year. His performance falls a bit short of Jason Giambi's 2008 line, which netted Giambi a $5.25MM guarantee from the A's in January of this year. The A's ended up releasing Giambi in August. Thome will be limited to the American League, of course. He's competing with free agent DH candidates Vladimir Guerrero and Hideki Matsui, among others.
A few intangibles: Thome is said to be a great clubhouse presence, and he's climbing up the career home run leaderboard. Thome is currently 12th with 564 homers, so he probably won't reach 600 in 2010. He could, however, pass Rafael Palmeiro, Harmon Killebrew, Mark McGwire, and Frank Robinson on the all-time list.
So where do you see Thome signing? There are plenty of unsettled DH spots, and he should cost $5MM or less.