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Ron Gardenhire wants the Twins to sign Jim Thome

Mar 1, 2013, 10:47 AM EDT

Jim Thome Getty Images

Jim Thome is looking for work and LaVelle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported last week that the Twins had talked to the 42-year-old designated hitter earlier in the offseason.

Toss in the fact that manager Ron Gardenhire recently made it clear that he wants a veteran bat off the Twins’ bench and Thome returning to Minnesota seems like a natural fit. So why hasn’t it happened yet?

Darren Wolfson of 1500ESPN.com reports that Gardenhire wants the Twins to sign Thome, but the front office has some reservations in part because he’s insisting on a major-league contract.

Minnesota’s roster is well-stocked with first basemen, corner outfielders, and designated hitters as is, so finding Thome regular at-bats would be a challenge, but on my Twins-centric podcast this week we talked about how there isn’t really much downside to choosing Thome for the final bench spot over, say, Drew Butera or a second utility infielder.

If nothing else he might make another non-contending season for the Twins somewhat less painful to watch for Minnesotans.

  1. Kleinz 57 - Mar 1, 2013 at 10:53 AM

    42 year-old future HoFers add like… 25 wins to your season. C’mon, Gleeman. Everybody knows that!

    • wonkypenguin - Mar 1, 2013 at 10:56 AM

      Don’t forget that he’s a nice guy! Nice guys are worth an extra 5 wins, too, which is why the Twins spend an inordinate amount of time trying to find them.

    • historiophiliac - Mar 1, 2013 at 10:59 AM

      It’s the mentory goodness.

  2. unclemosesgreen - Mar 1, 2013 at 11:08 AM

    Vlad undercut Thome’s market by announcing he’d take a minor league deal.

    Why not eschew Butera and a second utility guy, and sign them both? Doumit could do some more catching and play a little more RF, Mauer could play some 1B. I just love the Strat-O-Matic feel of a Thome/Guerrero DH platoon.

    • albertmn - Mar 1, 2013 at 1:10 PM

      Rosters aren’t big enough to carry TWO guys that can’t play the field. Even when Thome was on the Twins, it handcuffed them slightly. You always need to keep a guy to replace Thome, either to pinch run late in a game if he DH’s or to play the field if Thome pinch hits for someone. Wouldn’t mind seeing Thome back, but would rather have a younger player that can field, if the Twins can find one (shouldn’t be tough to find one that hits better than Butera).

      Plus, Vlad can’t hit anymore, so it is a moot point about signing both.

  3. danglesnipecelly24 - Mar 1, 2013 at 11:45 AM

    Twins need Thome back so they have at least one left handed bat on the roster who can hit bombs towards the flag pole in right

  4. zzalapski - Mar 1, 2013 at 11:54 AM

    Anything to get Drew Butera off the major league roster. He’s fucking terrible.

    • unclemosesgreen - Mar 1, 2013 at 12:16 PM

      Every time I see your screen name I get angry and see green. Your comments are fine, but that name …

      • zzalapski - Mar 1, 2013 at 2:29 PM

        Sorry, man. Can’t help which athletes I think have cool names.

  5. schrutebeetfarms - Mar 1, 2013 at 1:16 PM

    The last thing the twins need is another nice guy. They need an a-hole who will get upset and call people out on their way to another 90 loss season as Gardenhire apparently won’t do it.

    • greatdayfortwo - Mar 1, 2013 at 2:39 PM

      Totally agree. I get the sense when someone struggles, they pat him on the back in the clubhouse and tell him it’ll get better rather than telling them to get out there and practice or study video.

      The idea of Thome coming back is exciting, but in reality, it’s a miserable idea. He’s not the guy we had a few years ago. Since leaving the Twins, he’s batting .265 (62 for 234) and has hit only 11 homers. In the playoff run on 2010, fans saw him post an OPS over 1.000. Those days are gone.

      Twins should take a pass on Thome, a pasture for Butera, and look at someone like Sizemore or Damon who might have a better upside at the plate.

  6. 13arod - Mar 1, 2013 at 2:42 PM

    The twins have no vetrens so sign thome can’t win without a couplr of vetrens

  7. tuberippin - Mar 1, 2013 at 4:52 PM

    One of the four greatest left-handed home-run hitters, the man with 612 career dingers, seventh all-time…the man deserves a friggin’ major-league deal.

  8. mnwildfan15 - Mar 1, 2013 at 5:30 PM

    The fans want Thome back sign him now and if he gets hot trade him at the deadline for some prospects or draft picks. Plus it’s Jim fricken Thome the only guy that has put on a twins uni and hit HRs @ target field.

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