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Jim Thome Returns to Twins

Well, it’s being reported that Jim Thome will be signing with the Twins for something like one year, $3 million.

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I was all prepared to write a piece today or tomorrow about why Thome makes sense for the Rangers, even with how left-handed it would make the bench, and how many PAs would be taken from guys like Murphy and/or Moreland, but I guess I won’t now.

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I do agree with the complications Adam Morris raises about adding Thome, and I think that does diminish his value to the Rangers, but I don’t think it eliminates it. Hell, at that price, Thome himself could play part time and be worth it.

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It might not be fun to send Mitch Moreland back down, but Thome is likely to be the much better hitter in 2011. Murphy’s plate appearances will probably work themselves out just like last season, and who knows, maybe Michael Young would be willing to platoon (I doubt it). Fact of the matter is that Thome went cheap, he was really, really good last season, and depth isn’t a bad thing, even when it doesn’t add versatility. It would also allow the Rangers to more comfortably shop Murphy and Moreland to improve other parts of the team.

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At the same time, for those very reasons where Thome wasn’t a perfect versatility fit, it’s also not a big deal that Texas couldn’t land him. I hope they were more aggressive than the final numbers make it seem and that Thome just wanted to stay in Minnesota, but in any case, while signing Thome made sense, I don’t think it was likely to make a massive difference for the team, either.

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Maybe they should be looking at Manny Ramirez now?

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.