Twenty years in Major League Baseball apparently isn’t enough for Jim Thome. The slugger agreed to a one-year contract, reportedly worth $1.25 million with the Philadelphia Phillies sources told ESPN.
He is scheduled to take a physical on Saturday.
If all goes well, Thome will be brining 604 home runs to Philadelphia and their home stadium Citizens Banks Park, which is one of the friendlier stadiums in baseball for lefties. Thome will be reuniting with the team that he spent three seasons with in the middle of his career.
Signing with the Phillies will give the 41-year-old another shot at winning his first World Series, something that has eluded him during his sparkling 20-year career.
Thome has been on the move a lot during the latter years of his career. He started off the 2011 season with the Minnesota Twins but was later traded to the Cleveland Indians, the team he started his career with in 1991. Thome hit 15 home runs and batted .256 while with both clubs.
It’s unclear what kind of role Thome will have with the defending National League East champions when the season starts. With no DH in the NL, Thome could see a lot of time pinch hitting. It’s also unclear if Phillies manager Charlie Manuel will use Thome at first base if Ryan Howard is still recovering from a torn Achilles tendon.
According to Philly.com, a source said prior to the 2011 season that Thome wanted to finish his Hall of Fame caliber career in Philadelphia.
After spending the first 12 years of his career with the Cleveland Indians, Thome signed with the Phillies as a free agent in 2003. He hit more than 40 home runs in back-to-back seasons with the club, but a back injury pushed him out, and created a spot for Howard, who seemed to settle right in.
Thome has played in 2,485 games over his career, has 604 home runs and a lifetime batting average of .277.