Some great news came out of Phillies camp the other day as they announced Jim Thome has signed on for one more year.
As I mentioned shortly after he crushed home run number 600, I am happy that he will be around for one more year. As one of the nice guys in the game, I would love to see him get a ring.
Although Philly will certainly give him a great shot at that elusive World Series ring, I don’t think I’m the only one scratching my head at this deal. A 41 year old aging slugger is going to the NL?
Obviously this move is strictly about winning a World Series and Thome isn’t too concerned about losing playing time. And we all know Ryan Howard is going to miss some time heading into next year. Still, I can’t help but wonder if signing on in Philly might actually cost Thome a shot in the long run. He’s going to be limited to pinch hit duty and it won’t be easy for him to stay hot. On the odd time he does play first base, it doesn’t figure to be all that pretty. If he’s hitting .200 with three homers and 11 RBI in July with poor range, will the Phillies not be tempted just to cut him? It may not be a popular PR move, but after falling short in two straight years the Phillies aren’t exactly in a position to keep guys on for old time sake.
Ideally Thome will stay relatively productive and stick with the Phillies all year. If the Jays can’t be 2012 World Series champions, seeing Roy Halladay lift the trophy next to Thome is something I could deal with.
But in an even more idealistic world, the Jays will make some major moves over the next couple of months and be the ones in the running come September.