|Jim Thome contributed some of the|
most memorable moments in Target
Field's first year.
What he does do, he does extremely well, or at least he did last season. (Rob Neyer suggests here that Thome in 2010 was the most productive old part-time player in major league history.) Even at twice the salary of last year, it's not difficult to see why the Twins wanted him back.
I fear that there's bit of Brett Favre flavor to Thome's return -- an aging star coming off a surprisingly superb season and hoping for another season of magic. In Thome's case, of course, he's being paid as, and counted on as, a part-time player, not as the cornerstone of the roster.
We shouldn't expect him to perform at his 2010 level. That's asking a lot of anybody. If the regulars in the Twins DH-corner outfield-first base nexus stay healthy, there's not a ton of playing time left over -- but Justin Morneau, Michael Cuddyer and Jason Kubel have all had significant injuries in the past. Thome should still be productive enough to help fill the gaps as they arise.
At least there's this in favor of the deal: There had been reports connecting Manny Ramirez to the Twins. That notion, farfetched as it seems to me, is now dead and buried. Which it probably was anyway; I cannot imagine Ron Gardenhire letting Manny B. Manny in his clubhouse.