Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Indians should bring back Thome

Jim Thome told a writer from CSNPhilly.com this week that he is not retired.

The Cleveland Indians should pay attention.

Is Jim Thome the player he was back in the 1990s or early 2000s? No. ... Is he a player that is going to push the Indians into the playoffs this year? No.

But Jim Thome is what the Indians want and need on their 2013 team. He is a fan favorite who will help put butts in seats. He is a veteran presence that a young team like the Indians need. And he can still hit the laces off the ball, probably better than many of the other options the Tribe has to play designated hitter this season.

Those seem like three pretty good reasons to me to offer Thome, say, a one-year, $1.5 million, incentives-included contract.

The Indians signed Mark Reynolds to a free agent contract this week to play first base. Maybe even a little third base. Reports on Tuesday evening had the Indians close to trading Shin Soo Choo to the Reds for outfielder Drew Stubbs and a young shortstop.

Reynolds and Stubbs are absolute flailers at the plate. Stubbs has struck out a staggering 539 times in the past THREE seasons, including 205 times in 2010. Reynolds has whiffed 1,122 times in 2,973 career at-bats.

If there's anyone who could benefit from the presence of a professional hitter like Jim Thome, it's Reynolds and Stubbs.

Signing Thome as a three-quarters-time DH and a pinch-hitter gives the Indians a veteran presence that the fans love at a reasonable price.

As the son of Cavs owner Dan Gilbert said, "What's not to like?"

- John Kampf


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