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Jim Thome wants his next contract to “make up for what he didn’t earn last season”

Jan 3, 2011, 10:15 AM EDT

Minnesota Twins v Detroit Tigers Getty Images

Many people in Minnesota have been assuming that Jim Thome re-signing with the Twins was only a matter of time, but LaVelle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that Thome wants to “make up for what he didn’t earn last season.”

It’s tough to blame Thome, because he was certainly worth far more than the $2 million or so the Twins paid him in 2010. On the other hand there aren’t many openings for pure designated hitters and he hasn’t really been linked publicly to other teams.

Bringing back Thome would be great for the Twins if the price is reasonable, but it’s also worth remembering that he wasn’t a regular until Justin Morneau‘s concussion in early July, starting just 34 of the first 84 games. Thome and a healthy Morneau along with Jason Kubel, Michael Cuddyer, and Delmon Young would give the Twins five players for four lineup spots, and it’s hard to imagine Ron Gardenhire benching Cuddyer versus right-handed pitchers no matter how much sense it would make.

  1. BC - Jan 3, 2011 at 10:22 AM

    Why wouldn’t the Angels grab him?

    • Ari Collins - Jan 3, 2011 at 10:31 AM

      I think because they have a rotating DH situation, with their slow old outfielders.

      • Jeremiah Graves - Jan 3, 2011 at 11:04 AM

        Yeah, between Abreu/Rivera/Napoli they’ll have more than enough guys to DH in LA.

      • BC - Jan 3, 2011 at 11:27 AM

        Aw, shoot I forgot they still had Abreu. You’re right. Thome would be a better option in the outfield than Abreu at this point, he’s terrible.

  2. largebill - Jan 3, 2011 at 10:38 AM

    Thome’s been a great player, but that is a foolish stance. It just doesn’t work that way. People pay you for future production not for past. Just as he didn’t refund the millions Philadelphia paid him for a season he was on the DL for more than half the season, no team is going to overpay him next year for outperforming his salary last year.

    • lotoffcenter - Jan 3, 2011 at 10:53 AM

      largebill that is not totally correct. jeter is being vastly overpaid for what he did in previous years not what he is worth now. same happened to barry larkin in his last contract with the Reds. it happens all the time with players both ways, being paid for future contributions and pay for past accomplishments

      • missthemexpos - Jan 3, 2011 at 11:42 AM

        Players that are paid for past accomplishments generally have played for one organization for most, if not all of their career, as in the case of your examples of Jeter and Larkin. Thome’s situation is more unique having played only one season with the Twins.

    • BC - Jan 3, 2011 at 11:11 AM

      Someone will throw $4mil or $5mil at him.

  3. Jeremiah Graves - Jan 3, 2011 at 11:05 AM

    I’m worried he saw the $8 million Lance Berkman snagged from the Cardinals and he’s viewing that as a comparable rate. Technically both are pure DH types, except that teams keeping have this crazy notion to put a piece of leather on the Puma’s hand and then they send him out into the field to play “defense”…I just don’t get it.

  4. Lukehart80 - Jan 3, 2011 at 12:50 PM

    I doubt he’s actually looking to be paid extra money this year to pay him back for being under-paid in 2010, more likely he just isn’t going to settle for a cheap contract (under the: “he’s old and might be finished” logic) again, but instead expects to be paid like a guy who can still mash with the best of them. If he can put up close to the numbers he did last season, he’s certainly worth those sweet Lance Berkman-type dollars.

  5. browniebuck - Jan 3, 2011 at 2:53 PM

    Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy! You have said your whole career that it isn’t about the money, only to now come out and say that, more or less, it’s all about the money! You left Cleveland because “My wife’s my rock” and she agreed with the move (had nothing to do with the money…yeah, I didn’t believe it back then either).
    6 years, $85 million…3 years, $24.5 million for your last three years in Cleveland. For 9 years of your career, you made over $100 million…I think you have enough!

    Why his name is never mentioned in steroid talks is also pretty hilarious to me…he was a string bean when he came up with the Tribe…by the time he left, he was a pretty big fella.

    Greedy ba$tard!

  6. xmatt0926x - Jan 3, 2011 at 9:37 PM

    Guess ol’ Jimmy isn’t the “awe shucks” guy he has made himself out to be. He can’t play the field and he’s a one-trick pony who hopes to run into a ball here and there at the plate. This isnt a case where a team needs to pay him a little extra for lots of service time at a reduced price. He had one good run with the twins last year and it’s not likely to happen for him again. He is really just hanging on to get to 600 hr’s and he needs to hope someone gives him that chance instead of haggling over a million or two extra. I really like thome overall but I dont think he’s getting any “makeup” money. He will realize this and sign a 1 year contract at decent money and his 1st line to the media will be “it was never about the money for me”.

  7. vikesfansteve - Jan 10, 2011 at 11:37 AM

    His total playoff collapse made up for what he didn’t earn. Bye Thome.

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