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Jim Thome signed a one year, $3 million contract with the Minnesota Twins for the 2011 season. He can also reach more incentives. After making $1.5 million plus incentives last year, and he hit 25 homers is an OPS over 1.000. In reality, the Twins hope that Thome does not have to play such an important role in 2011, but he showed that given proper playing time, and more important, proper time off, he still can have a huge impact on the lineup.
However, if all goes well, Justin Morneau will remain in the lineup, and Jason Kubel will return to his 2009 form, and Thome will fill a role. Hopefully he will be able to get his 600th career home run in a Twins uniform.
I know that many think I am not happy with Jim Thome coming back. I am very happy that Thome is coming back. I really am, especially because I think that the dollars are very, very fair. He’s a terrific person and an important role model in that clubhouse, but he can also impact a baseball game in a very positive way. Because of the role that he should play in 2011, this is not a Brett Favre like return in that, if he struggles, it won’t have devastating.
Do I think that this team needs right-handed hitting? Absolutely and I can’t back away from that. It’s great having Thome sitting on the Twins bench, but he is still sitting there with Matt Tolbert, Jason Repko and Drew Butera. I do think that a right-handed backup that can hit would be great. Maybe it can be Luke Hughes.
In all, this is a positive for the Twins on many levels. It is a good deal for the Twins. Next up, I’m pretty sure Carl Pavano will be brought back… sometime… one of these days… or weeks… right?
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