Saturday, January 15, 2011

Jim Thome Re-Signs With Twins

Minnesota seemed to suit Jim Thome well in 2010, and he'll be back there next season as he shoots for 600 career home runs.

The Twins announced Friday they have re-signed the slugger to a one-year deal, which's Kelly Thesier reports will be worth $3 million plus incentives.

That figure is double Thome's base salary from last season but still potentially a huge bargain if he can maintain his level of production at age 40. Thome hit 25 homers and posted a 1.039 OPS last year, his first in Minnesota. He pondered retirement following the Twins' playoff loss, but decided to give it another go.            

Thome has 589 career homers, second only to Alex Rodriguez's 613 among active players, and his chase for 600 will be one of the ongoing storylines next season. If and when he makes it, you can bet the accomplishment will be greeted with far more fanfare and appreciation than A-Rod's quest received in 2010.

Thome broke into the majors in 1991 as a 20-year-old third baseman for the Indians. He joined the Phillies in 2003 as a first baseman and spent three years there before moving on to the White Sox (and full-time DH duty) in 2006. He spent the final month of the 2009 season as a pinch-hitter for the Dodgers before moving back to the AL last year.

The Rangers and Rays were among the other teams rumored to have interest in Thome this winter, but he decided to stay in Minnesota.

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