After months of waiting and recent rumors that he may be signing with the Texas Rangers, Jim Thome has re-signed with the Twins.
The Twins announced today that they are bringing Jim Thome back on a one year $3 milllion deal. Thome will also earn incentives based on playing time.
I see this as a terrific move for the Twins. It appeared earlier in the offseason that Thome was becoming more money hungry and wanted to “make up for what he didn’t earn last season.” However, the Twins again got him for a price below what he’s worth, and likely less than the Rangers would have paid.
Thome is great security in the case that Justin Morneau is not 100%. Bill Smith says the team is “optimistic he will be ready for Spring Training.” As I’d like to hear it be certain that Morneau will for certain be ready to go, that statement scares me. As good as Morneau is, Jim Thome lessens the blow to the lineup with Morneau out.
The only negative side to this signing is the fact that the Twins would be much better off with a right handed hitter that could potentially play some first base or outfield, but the fact is that they got Thome on a terrific bargain. The “ideal” player just isn’t available, and especially not at Thome’s price. Some have argued that Vladimir Guerrero would have been the ideal guy, but he would cost upwards of $6 million and I think Target Field would play against his strengths, making him much less valuable.
This deal likely ends the possibility of “Manny being Manny in Minnesota”.