MLB free agency officially opened on Thursday and the Phillies have wasted little time hedging their bets against Ryan Howard’s Achilles injury.
That’s because they have signed former Phillies first baseman and fan favorite Jim Thome, per the consistently excellent Todd Zolecki.
It’s awesome news. Thome is one of the best left handed power hitters of all time and is universally loved by fans everywhere, including Philadelphia. Per CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury, it’s a one-year, $1.25 million deal. Though at 41 (42 in August) he’s well past his prime, Thome will be worth every penny assuming he stays relatively healthy.
Sure, he hasn’t played the field in a while, and even if he ultimately can’t do it, Thome will be a tremendous upgrade over free agent Ross Gload as the lefty power bat off the bench. Plus Thome is a veteran leader that will have a very positive effect on a team that needs to make sure its collective head is right after this past season’s chokejob debacle.
Last season Thome hit .256/.361/.477 with 15 homers in 324 plate appearances for the Twins and Indians. The deal will become official pending a physical.
Welcome back, Jim.