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Twins on waivers: Indians claim Jim Thome, White Sox claim Jason Kubel

Aug 25, 2011, 1:13 PM EDT

Jim Thome Reuters

There was speculation that the White Sox would block the Indians’ attempt to reunite with Jim Thome by claiming him off waivers with their higher spot in line, but Ken Rosenthal of reports that Thome indeed made it all the way to Cleveland on the waiver wire.

Rosenthal also reports that the White Sox ended up with the winning claim on Jason Kubel, so they simply decided to go after a different left-handed hitter from the middle of the Twins’ lineup.

Thome has a no-trade clause in his contract and Rosenthal notes that he’d prefer to join the Phillies for the stretch run, but the Indians are now the only team eligible to trade for the future Hall of Famer and could definitely use him with Travis Hafner potentially undergoing season-ending foot surgery.

Kubel being traded is far less likely, because as a Type B (and possibly Type A) free agent the Twins should be looking for a return package at least as valuable as the compensatory draft picks they’d receive if he left this offseason.

  1. vikesfansteve - Aug 25, 2011 at 1:15 PM

    Let Thome go.

    • kopy - Aug 25, 2011 at 1:32 PM

      I agree, and I think every other Twins fan does too. We don’t want to see Thome go, but above that, we want him to do what he wants. I would completely understand his desire to finish his career in Cleveland.

  2. trevorb06 - Aug 25, 2011 at 1:20 PM

    It’ll be a sad day if the Twin’s trade or let Kubz go.

    I love Thome but I want him to have a WS shot.

  3. cardsfanindelaware - Aug 25, 2011 at 1:22 PM

    Congrats are in order to the Indians for blocking the Phillies from getting what they wanted. Take that Aaron!!

  4. firedude7160 - Aug 25, 2011 at 1:22 PM

    Probly won’t happen, but I would love to see Thome back in a Phillies uniform

  5. Jonny 5 - Aug 25, 2011 at 1:26 PM

    The Twins can still pull him back then release him so he can go where he wants to. I doubt the Indians will pony up too much for him anyway.

    • 5thbase - Aug 25, 2011 at 2:41 PM

      That would be stupid and would lead to under the table deals. If that’s how things worked you would have the Yankees and Phillies paying teams to release players they knew would want to sign with them and simply bypass the whole waiver system.

      In releasing a player, that player has to go on waivers and teams have the opportunity to claim him. Thome has already been claimed. The Twins could pull him back and they could then put him on irrevocable waivers in order to release him, in which case he would get claimed again by the Indians. Sorry Phillies and Yankees, you can’t have him. He’ll either finish the season with the Twins or he’ll go to the Indians. Period.

      Now, if a player is placed on waivers to be released and no team puts in a claim, then he can go wherever. Usually the players who experience that are what we call bad players or they’re decent players with terrible contracts.

      • The Baseball Gods - Aug 25, 2011 at 2:46 PM

        Might want to check your facts because Thome has a full no trade clause which means if he is put on release waivers he can reject a claim by any team, forfeit his salary, and then be free to sign anywhere he wants to.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Aug 25, 2011 at 2:55 PM

        EPIC FAIL.

      • 5thbase - Aug 25, 2011 at 2:55 PM

        You are correct. I didn’t think he had a no-trade clause but he does.

        However, the Twins are going to pay him to play for another team, which is what would happen in the case of him being outright released. So again, no Thome for your Phillies and Yankees. And again, he’ll either play for the Twins or he’ll play for the Indians.

      • The Baseball Gods - Aug 25, 2011 at 3:02 PM

        Again you are not correct. If Thome gets claimed on release waivers the team that claims him assumes his salary. If Thome rejects the claim he forfeits his salary and the Twins do not have to pay him.

      • 5thbase - Aug 25, 2011 at 3:15 PM

        Actually, The Baseball Gods, you are not correct. I did some more research on this topic. Because of his full no-trade clause, the Twins are no even allowed to irrevocably waive him. It’s not even possible by the rules of the sport. Their only option is exactly what they did. They can put him on revocable waivers, have him claimed in the waiver process and then try to work out a trade with the other team – all subject to the approval of the player with the no-trade clause. If they can’t work out a trade, that’s it and he can’t move for the rest of the season.

        And Fiorentino, grats on being both rude and wrong at the same time. That’s not easy.

      • 5thbase - Aug 25, 2011 at 3:23 PM

        “Again you are not correct. If Thome gets claimed on release waivers the team that claims him assumes his salary. If Thome rejects the claim he forfeits his salary and the Twins do not have to pay him.”

        What you were describing, if it was even possible by the rules of the sport, wouldn’t be a waiver claim. What you were describing was the impossible hypothetical situation in which he blocks the one trade partner possible based on the waiver claim and then he gets outright released. If that was possible, the Twins would be on the hook for his salary.

        Now it’s not possible (as I described in my previous post), so it’s a moot point. That it’s not possible is why you can’t give an example of a player with a no-trade that blocked a waiver trade to one team and then ended up getting traded to another.

      • The Baseball Gods - Aug 25, 2011 at 3:25 PM

        I can’t wait til you eat crow when he ends up on the Phillies. I don’t know where you are getting your information, but you are definitely wrong.

      • halladaysbiceps - Aug 25, 2011 at 3:28 PM

        5th base, you seem like a nice commenter, so I will explain it simply:

        Thome rejects trade. Asks Twins to release him (irrevocable waivers, forfeit of salary) so he can sign with whome he wants. Done deal. No violation of any baseball rule.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Aug 25, 2011 at 3:35 PM

        5thbase, you are an EPIC FAIL and both rude and ignorant in your stupidity to boot.

  6. halladaysbiceps - Aug 25, 2011 at 1:27 PM

    Once again, the “Great” “Busta” Olney is wrong again. He reported that it was all but certain that the White Sox claimed Thome. But, once again, he’s proven wrong. Watch this guy, HBT fans, as I have for years now. “Busta” is the greatest source of disinformation from a baseball reporter that I have ever seen. He make psychics look like scientists.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Aug 25, 2011 at 1:45 PM

      Olney lost all respect I had for him last year when he reported that the Yankees had Cliff Lee…then all of a sudden, he was traded to the Rangers. He is living off a reputation that is not deserved at all. Jayson Stark is the best baseball reporter at the Worldwide Leader hands down.

      • halladaysbiceps - Aug 25, 2011 at 1:57 PM

        Agreed. I’ve read his crap for too long now. He has to be called out for the fraud that he is. His reporting pales in comparison to a guy like Peter Gammons.

        By the way, I agree with you bringing up Jayson Stark, and not because he’s a former Philly sports writer for the Inquirer. Stark has something called journalistic integrity. He doesn’t falsely report things. Something that “Busta” has no idea of. Stark puts the other ESPN guys to shame. Probably why Gammons, who is a Boston guy but fair reporter, decided to leave the degenerate network known as ESPN.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Aug 25, 2011 at 2:08 PM

        Phillies doing DBL HDR saturday and no game sunday. Sucks for Sunday baseball, but I’ll be putting the finishing touches on my Ark anyway.

      • firedude7160 - Aug 25, 2011 at 2:29 PM

        I’m still holding out hope that this storm will miss us. I am not looking forward to the long hours of cleaning up after it

    • jjschiller - Aug 25, 2011 at 1:51 PM

      I agree with only one part of this post:

      “He make psychics look like scientists.”

      I couldn’t have said it better myself.

  7. bdawk20 - Aug 25, 2011 at 1:34 PM

    I’ll be surprised if he accepts the trip to Cleveland. I get that he has a special tie to Cleveland, but the whole point of him going on waivers is that he wants to join a team that can win it all. Everyone knows that Cleveland is not that team (6 games back of Detroit as well). This could be the last season Thome plays, his last chance, and he would have been traded earlier had it not been for the Twins wanting to celebrate his 600th HR. In my opinion, he should reject the trade and the Twins should let him walk as payment for making baseball exciting for a week in Minnesota.

    • FC - Aug 25, 2011 at 1:48 PM

      Of course he went and hit #600 on a road trip!!! Good for him! Take that greedy Minnesota! Should’ve traded him at that July 31st Deadline!!!!

      • kopy - Aug 25, 2011 at 1:53 PM

        Minnesota is so greedy they offered Thome the contract he liked the most, and then they didn’t get rid of him! Those assholes!

      • FC - Aug 25, 2011 at 2:00 PM

        Totally agree dude!

    • Tribe&Browns&Cavs - Aug 25, 2011 at 2:09 PM

      I never held a grudge against him for the first time he left Cleveland, but a lot of the fanbase still holds one. (And Manny and Joey Belle and all the other talent the Tribe wouldn’t pay to keep.)

      I think if Thome would publically reject a trade to Cleveland and then sign with the Phillies again (as much as it makes sense WS Title-wise) he might rival Lebron for the most hated sports personality in Cleveland.

      On the other hand, if he comes back, he’ll be the city’s most beloved figure (until the Tribe is officially eliminated and/or the Browns season officially begins).

      • bdawk20 - Aug 25, 2011 at 2:30 PM

        I tried to reply to the comment above yours, but ended up replying to yours. So the guys above you are missing the point, not you.

    • bdawk20 - Aug 25, 2011 at 2:30 PM

      You’re missing the point. The whole reason Minnesota put Thome on waivers would be negated if he signs with Cleveland. He still won’t play in October – if you are going to do something, do it right.

      • kopy - Aug 25, 2011 at 2:56 PM

        All the Twins can do is put him on waivers, which they did. The Indians claimed him, but Thome can block any trade. If he does, the Twins will put him on release waivers. From there, Thome can block any claim by any team except the one he wants to play for. If he blocks every claim, then he becomes a free agent. Thome controls his own destiny.

    • mplsjoe - Aug 25, 2011 at 3:07 PM

      I like Jim Thome as much as the next guy, but I’m starting to get irritated at the “let Thome go to Philly!” refrain. The only way to do that (and there may not be a way to do that), as I understand it, would be to put him on irrevocable waivers, thus putting the Twins on the hook for his salary for the year. No way. If the Twins are going to pay Thome, he should play for the Twins.

      • The Baseball Gods - Aug 25, 2011 at 5:16 PM

        As far as I know, if Thome was put on release waivers and was claimed by a team (which would most likely happen) he can refuse assignment and forfeit his salary. If this happened I am pretty sure the Twi s would not have to pay him since he would be forfeiting his salary.

  8. oldschoolwillie - Aug 25, 2011 at 2:22 PM

    Dont trade Kubel unless we get at least equal value as his free agent compensatory type. I don’t have faith in Smith to think this eat though. He will get two low-ceiling pitchers.

  9. Lukehart80 - Aug 25, 2011 at 4:31 PM

    I understand that going to the Indians wouldn’t accomplish the goal of playing in the playoffs (the Tribe is done, sadly), it’d be really cool to have him back for the last few weeks of the season, and possibly of his career. He could add to his franchise HR record and surely win back some of the fans that were angry with him for leaving.

  10. sosascork - Aug 25, 2011 at 10:08 PM

    Would’ve rather seen Jim back in Chicago to close out the year. WTF, Kenny?

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