Thome undecided on a return
Jim Thome has been doing some traveling in recent days. He attended former teammate Joe Mauer’s wedding in Minneapolis over the weekend, and he was in Cleveland this week to get measured for the statue the Indians are creating in his honor at Progressive Field.
But Thome, a free agent, hasn’t been visiting any Major League clubs on formal business. The 42-year-old member of the 600-homer club is still undecided on whether to come back for a 23rd season, and it is not known what kind of market would develop for his services were he to decide to come back.
Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said he spoke with Thome on the phone earlier this week and that Thome had not yet made up his mind on coming back.
“I think if somebody shows interest in him, he might [return],” Manuel said. “You know, I think he’s one of those guys who is having a hard time trying to leave.”
Manuel’s Phillies coaxed Thome out of a potential retirement a year ago with a one-year, $1.25 million contract. But when Thome’s bid to play first base with regularity for the first time since 2005 did not go as planned, he was shipped back to the American League when the Orioles acquired him for Minor Leaguers Gabriel Lino and Kyle Simon in June. A herniated disk in his neck limited Thome to just 28 games with the O’s. For the season, he hit .252 with eight homers, seven doubles and 25 RBIs in 58 games.
Orioles general manager Dan Duquette told reporters earlier this week that he has not had contact with Thome but that Thome “added a real veteran presence” to the club.