Thursday, January 13, 2011

Thome and Texas

Jim Thome remains unsigned, and over the past few days published reports have had the Texas Rangers sniffing in his direction.

Jim Thome can still mash right-handers, but the rest
of his game is lacking.
I'll have to see it to believe it. The Rangers have already signed Adrian Beltre to play third base, which leaves Michael Young positionless. He's not going to return to the middle infield -- the Rangers aren't that dumb -- and at $16 million annually, he's pretty much untradeable. Perhaps they'll put him at first base, thus giving him the cycle of infield positions (he started his career at second, volunteered to play short to accommodate Alfonso Soriano after the A-Rod trade, was moved to third against his wishes to make room for Elvis Andrus and now is being displaced by Beltre), but ... the current plan is to make him the DH. He probably, at age 34, isn't a good enough hitter to merit everyday play at either first or DH.

Even if there's fire behind this smoke -- and not just the self-serving leaks of an agent hoping to scare the Twins into upping their ante for Thome -- I'm not particularly worried about Thome departing.

There's a good case to be made that he doesn't really fit the Twins' needs anyway. The Twins must be aware that the White Sox are stockpiling lefty relievers with the explicit intention of playing matchups with the Twins' lefty-heavy lineup. If the Twins are going to carry a part-time DH, it ought to be a right-handed bat. That would allow the Twins to platoon Jason Kubel -- although there is little reason to believe Ron Gardenhire would be so inclined anyway.

 I wrote early in the offseason that I didn't see where a market for Thome existed. Now we're into January, and I still don't see where a market for Thome is.

1 comment:

  1. Disappointed that the team still hasn't addressed the lack of right-handed power off the bench. They don't need Thome; they should pursue Vladimir Geurrero, offer him a two-year deal loaded with incentives. He'd get lots of at-bats against lefties and might be this year's version of Thome.