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Report: Phillies, Jim Thome agree on one-year contract

Nov 4, 2011, 7:04 PM EDT

Thome Phillies AP

The Hot Stove is off and running.

Todd Zolecki of reports that the Phillies and Jim Thome have agreed on a one-year contract, pending a physical. Jim Salisbury of was told by a source that the veteran slugger will receive $1.25 million.

Thome, who currently sits at eighth place on the all-time list with 604 career homers, batted .256/.361/.477 with 15 homers, 50 RBI and an .838 OPS over 324 plate appearances this season between the Twins and Indians. He previously played with the Phillies from 2003-2005 before being traded to the White Sox in the deal that brought Aaron Rowand to Philadelphia.

The 41-year-old Thome provides an interesting insurance policy at first base for Ryan Howard, who is coming off surgery to repair a ruptured Achilles. However, it’s worth noting that he hasn’t started a game there since 2007 and hasn’t played there regularly since his last stint in Philadelphia. Simply put, if all goes according to plan, he’ll likely function as a left-handed bat off the bench. Now reunited with Charlie Manuel, this is mostly about giving him his best chance at finally getting a World Series ring.

  1. halladaysbiceps - Nov 4, 2011 at 7:06 PM

    YES. YES. YES!!!!!!!!!!

    Thank you, D.J. for the breaking news. Welcome back, BIG MAN!!!!!!

    • Bryz - Nov 4, 2011 at 7:09 PM

      Dammit, now bicepts is happy.

      • halladaysbiceps - Nov 4, 2011 at 7:11 PM

        Damn right!!!! I love Jim Thome! He apparently has a little left in the tank to play some 1st base while Howard recoups from Achilles surgery.


    • D.J. Short - Nov 4, 2011 at 7:42 PM

      No problem. Glad to see Thome hanging around, even if it’s for your Phillies. :-)

      • halladaysbiceps - Nov 4, 2011 at 7:53 PM

        Thanks. Your site broke the news to me. Take pride in that, great writer!

    • gb4ever0811 - Nov 4, 2011 at 9:11 PM

      I agree, halladaysbiceps. Welcome back, Thome!!!!! My father may not be happy (he’s a Phan, but not a true Phan) but I’m happy!!

  2. manifunk - Nov 4, 2011 at 7:08 PM


  3. manifunk - Nov 4, 2011 at 7:08 PM


  4. Bryz - Nov 4, 2011 at 7:12 PM

    Thome appeared at 3B last season, which means that he’ll have 3B eligibility in some fantasy baseball leagues. Seriously.

  5. SmackSaw - Nov 4, 2011 at 7:15 PM

    Can’t hurt at that price. Howard won’t be ready ’til May.

  6. drmonkeyarmy - Nov 4, 2011 at 7:17 PM

    Well, this is an interesting but not altogether unsurprising signing. He provides an option while Howard recuperates and is beloved by all Phillies fans. Furthermore, he is a significantly better bench option than Ross Gload who the Phillies paid 1.6 million last year. All and all, I say it is an excellent signing. Also, Pete Orr was signed to a minor league deal for next year as well.

    • halladaysbiceps - Nov 4, 2011 at 7:22 PM

      Whoaaaaaaa!!!, Good Doctor. Ruben taking care of initial business. More to follow by Ruben.

  7. uyf1950 - Nov 4, 2011 at 7:19 PM

    I just would have thought that Thome himself would have preferred to stay in the AL and get some AB’s DH’ing. But certainly not a bad deal for the Phillies.

    • halladaysbiceps - Nov 4, 2011 at 7:25 PM

      He wants to be reunited with his mentor Charlie Manuel and wants another run at a championship. This is a no-brainer by both Thome and the Phillies. Fills both of their desires.

    • SmackSaw - Nov 4, 2011 at 7:47 PM

      Thome’s never won a ring. This is his last chance.

      • halladaysbiceps - Nov 4, 2011 at 7:55 PM

        Never said he did. He wants another run. Remember, he was with the Dodgers in the playoffs.

  8. sanzarq - Nov 4, 2011 at 7:20 PM

    Given the asinine amount of dough paid lots of other players, I think Jim got short-changed on this deal. Based on his production, I think he’s worth a lot more. But if he’s happy, who am I to complain? I’m no Phillie fan, mind you, but I think Thome is a class act.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Nov 4, 2011 at 7:24 PM

      I’m sure he could have gotten more but he and Charlie are tight. It seems to me that he obviously wanted to come back and potentially end his career with Charlie.

  9. mdpickles - Nov 4, 2011 at 7:21 PM

    This is awesome, that is all.

  10. halladaysbiceps - Nov 4, 2011 at 7:29 PM

    My initial guess is that Thome and Mayberry Jr. will platoon at 1st base. Jim will play 3-4 times a week at 3rd and John will play the other days.

    Now onto a good contact outfielder to play left field. I want a high OBP guy with some pop.

    • halladaysbiceps - Nov 4, 2011 at 7:57 PM

      ***at 1st base, not 3rd. Bad typo. The guy Bryz threw my subconscious out of whack, saying he played 3rd this year (it was a sentimental thing that Cleveland did for Thome).

    • spudchukar - Nov 4, 2011 at 8:02 PM

      ‘Cepts, the first base platoon is most probable. I doubt if Howard will be ready until sometime in June. But there is no way Thome plays 3B except in a dire emergency. He would be bunted to death. I too am a Thome fan, but recognize his weaknesses. Any significant playing time at 3B would be a disaster.

      • spudchukar - Nov 4, 2011 at 8:05 PM

        OK, your correction hadn’t posted when I was commenting, glad to see the good news didn’t short circuit your ol’ bean.

      • halladaysbiceps - Nov 4, 2011 at 8:06 PM

        Spuds, it was a typo. Did you see my response?

    • paperlions - Nov 4, 2011 at 8:35 PM

      That’s all you want for LF? High OBP with some pop? What? No gold-glove defense?

      The only corner OFer on the market with high OBP is Beltran (who also has some pop), a few others have some pop (Cuddyer, Andruw Jones) but are average OBP guys….high OBP guys without pop are coveted….high OBP guys with pop are called super stars.

      • halladaysbiceps - Nov 4, 2011 at 8:37 PM

        In LF, I will sacrifice defense for a guy with contact and power. LF has always been a position that you can do so.

        The Phillies may have to trade for that need. We will see.

  11. hackerjay - Nov 4, 2011 at 7:46 PM

    It’s going to be awkward when Howard comes off the DL in May, and everyone realizes that Thome has been playing better defense and has been hitting better then Howard does.

  12. cowboysoldiertx - Nov 4, 2011 at 7:52 PM

    Thome may be the only real man in Philly. Bunch of P**** Chicken S*** A******S. Just saying.

    • halladaysbiceps - Nov 4, 2011 at 7:59 PM

      What happened when the Eagles kicked the Cowboys asses last week? You have a lot of balls taking shit here after that ass whooping.

      • cowboysoldiertx - Nov 4, 2011 at 8:07 PM

        DO I play for the f***ing cowboys? They aint real men either. Just some over paid asswipes. Btw, the Eagles are the only decent thing in Philly.

      • halladaysbiceps - Nov 4, 2011 at 8:17 PM

        The Eagles are the only decent thing in Philly? Are you fucking joking? The Phillies are the team in Philly. Won a WS in 2008, been to 2 WS, and have won 5 straight NL East titles since 2007. The Eagles haven’t won a world championship since 1960.

        The Eagles aren’t shit compared to the Phillies.

    • Tribe&Browns&Cavs - Nov 5, 2011 at 7:51 AM

      Pretty Chickens Sexy Aliens?

  13. xmatt0926x - Nov 4, 2011 at 8:03 PM

    Go back to the NFL board loser. No matter how much certain people hate the Philly fans or their teams, nobody does that teenager, wet behind the ears, little boy cursing/smack talk on these boards. Go back to the Yahoo boards.

    • kalinedrive - Nov 10, 2011 at 1:16 PM

      biceps does it all the time.

  14. Chipmaker - Nov 4, 2011 at 8:03 PM

    Another 110 strikeouts and he catches Reggie for the record!

    Yeah, it’s a sucky record, but it’s still a record.

  15. espfdps - Nov 4, 2011 at 8:05 PM

    Welcome back!!!!!!

  16. xmatt0926x - Nov 4, 2011 at 8:13 PM

    As far as Thome goes, it’s a no lose situation for either party. The Phillies are a pretty good bet to get back to the playoffs and if the breaks go the right way he’ll get his ring and hopefully pop a few homers along the way. He’s a bigger threat than Gload at this point for minimal salary. He also may enjoy the challenge of a few games back playing at first to end his career.

  17. phillyphreak - Nov 4, 2011 at 8:20 PM

    Good signing. Good bat off the bench and a potential nice platoon player at 1B. Time for a celebratory beer.

    Reception should be pretty damn good on opening day.

    • halladaysbiceps - Nov 4, 2011 at 8:25 PM


      I raise my beer to you and your comment. Toast!!!

      • phillyphreak - Nov 4, 2011 at 8:27 PM

        Thumbs up Bicepts, thumbs up.

      • halladaysbiceps - Nov 4, 2011 at 8:33 PM

        Thumbs up to you too, my friend. Now that we see this move by Ruben in the early going, I am curious to see the master plan here. None of us really have a clue. Makes it fun!

  18. badmamainphilliesjamas - Nov 4, 2011 at 9:04 PM

    Great news! Good bat off the bench and always a class act. People in Philly still wear Thome jerseys . . . he’ll get a great welcome back here.

  19. mgscott - Nov 4, 2011 at 9:28 PM

    I bet Cleveland is upset. Now Thome and Hafner can’t split ab’s striking out, grounding out while hitting cleanup. Oh, and only to right handed pitchers and as a DH. Of course having every 3rd day off.

  20. leftywildcat - Nov 4, 2011 at 10:44 PM

    This is fantastic news. I wonder what the chances are that Ruben signs Moyer next?

    • chadjones27 - Nov 5, 2011 at 12:47 PM

      Impossible to One

  21. Jonny 5 - Nov 4, 2011 at 10:52 PM

    I remember being called nutty as a squirrel turd for imagining this deal as a good option. Howard was the reason he got shipped out, and now the reason he’s back. Cool…

    • CJ - Nov 4, 2011 at 11:53 PM

      You were called nutty as squirrel turd by some before saying that. I don’t think the two are related. In any event great move. I’m curious how it’ll play out though.

      • Jonny 5 - Nov 5, 2011 at 12:18 AM

        Well yeah…

  22. CJ - Nov 4, 2011 at 11:42 PM

    First of all, don’t get me wrong, I love this move.

    BUT, I wonder what Philly’s thought was behind it. If you’re bringing in a guy as established as Thome to take Gload’s spot (and save money in the process), it’s a no brainer. But would Thome come to the NL for that? If that’s all he was promised, I don’t know why he’d do it. He loves Philly, and wants to win a title, I get that.

    But with no DH and the fact he hasn’t even managed to average 9 innings per SEASON at 1st since he left, I’m curious as to why the Phillies pulled the trigger? If he’s supposed to spell Howard for two months until he heals that worries me. He’s had injury issues of his own the last few seasons, without even playing the field. If it’s a platoon with Mayberry, I’m cool with that, but still leaves holes elsewhere.

    Basically, it’s a brilliant move, especially for the price, but I just hope they have another move or two up their sleeves to improve the lineup/bench and they’re not relying on Thome to do too much early on. Not every move has to be a big one (or in day 2 of free agency), but I’d still like to solidify LF (presuming Mayberry platoons with Thome early on) or at the very least 3B, plus the bullben needs work and one more bench piece is needed.

    • Jonny 5 - Nov 5, 2011 at 12:16 AM

      Howard will be out for longer than they are letting on. Then who knows how long it’ll be before he’s 100%?I’m guessing Howard will need three days off per week for awhile and need days off up until 2013 before his heel is good enough to play daily (after a minor league stint). So Thome is going to be busy and they’ll probably bring Orr on to help out as well.

  23. localbandhero - Nov 4, 2011 at 11:44 PM

    As a Tribe fan, it was great seeing him back this year. I figured he may retire, but hey good for him if he can still get some bank. I wish him the best, and am glad he will enter the HOF as an Indian.

  24. dirtyharry1971 - Nov 5, 2011 at 10:20 AM

    How is this a insurance policy? Please!! This guy should have retired 4 years ago. While they are at it the phils should sign Moyer too.

  25. hansob - Nov 5, 2011 at 11:52 AM

    Jim Thome as a pinch hitter:

    2011. 3 for 13. no HRs, 2 BBs, 9 K’s
    2010. 7 for 25. 1 HR, 4 BBs, 10 K’s
    2009. 3 for 25. no HRs, 1 BB, 10 K’s

    that’s 29 K’s in 63 at bats and a .206 batting average and .297 OBP (and that’s with an off the charts BABIP). I realize it’s a small sample size, and he’s going up against some pretty good relievers in those at bats, but still… those are the same types of pitchers he’ll face coming off the bench for the Phils.

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