Jim Thome may be 41 years old, but his career is not ending yet. The first baseman/DH has signed a one-year deal with the Phillies and will return to the city where he played three years earlier in his career.
Thome’s deal is for $1.25 million and he’ll give the Phillies a left-handed power bat off the bench. With Ryan Howard recovering from a torn tendon in his heel, Thome could even see time at first base.
Jim made his Major League debut in 1991, so it’s nothing short of astonishing that he’s still playing. He’s actually producing too; Thome hasn’t posted lower than an .838 OPS since 2006. The signing also marks the second time that Thome has returned to a team where he played earlier in his career. When he was traded to Cleveland mid-season, he returned to the Indians for whom he played from 1991-2002. Thome played for the Phillies between 2003-2005.
The Phillies are also reportedly pursuing Michael Cuddyer. Cuddyer was drafted by the Twins in 1997 and has played for them since 2001. He just completed a three-year $24 million extension and could be looking to make slightly more than $8 million per season.
Cuddyer was one of the few Twins able to hit at spacious Target Field last season (he hit half of his 20 homers at home), and his versatility is an asset. He saw action at first, second, and right field last season. He also has experience playing third base. He’s a valuable player to have on your team, but it will be tough to expect the same production he had last season for each season of a multi-year contract.