Let there be no mistake about the intentions of
40-Year-Old Jim Thome, who had a resurgent 2010 season - leading the Minnesota
Twins into the playoffs – he wants to continue playing for “at least two more
years.” The “Power Hitter From
Peoria” currently has 589 career blasts, and stands just 11 home runs shy of
the awesome 600 home run plateau.
Considering that "The Thomenator" has averaged more than 27 dingers per
year over the past five seasons (and a40+ average during his 20 year career),
he should join Ken Griffey, Jr. and Sammy Sosa as a member of the 600 Home Run Club® by the All-Star
Big Jim enjoyed a spectacular resurgence last season,
hitting 25 home runs in 276 at-bats and batting .283 with a 1.039 OPS. “Last year kind of revived me in a lot
of different ways,” said the hulking but gentle giant. “Minnesota was a wonderful place to
play, but it was a little different role for me. I didn't play every day and I
came to grips with that. What it did for me was make me realize how much I
still want to play, that passion I still have for the game.
Thome, who signed a one-year, $1.5 million free-agent
contract with the Twins last February, said his agent, Pat Rooney, has received
calls from multiple American League contenders expressing interest. Due to the high number of first baseman/DH types on the open
market, Thome likely won't sign quickly, but he said he's been working out for
the past month and is confident he will land a job for next season. “After 20 years in the league, I've come to learn you never know what's going to happen. I'll take it
day-by-day, trust in the system.
Hopefully a team that needs a big bat at DH will call and want my services. I'd love to
play two more years.”
Rooney talked about how Thome “had a special experience
in Minnesota” and “loves the manager,” but promised only that he would
definitely consider going back to the Twins. General Manager Bill Smith has made it very clear that his Minnesota club wants to re-sign Thome, but it has becoming obvious that he won’t be
available at the same type of discount rate as last off- season. “He was a great fit for this
ball club," said Twins GM Smith. "He was an impact bat, an impact in
the clubhouse and an impact in the community. He's headed to the Hall of Fame.
We were certainly glad to have him, and we'd love to have him back to round out
his career with the Twins."