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MLB Free Agents 2012: Aging Slugger Jim Thome Not What Phillies Needed Most

CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 25: Jim Thome #25 of the Cleveland Indians pinch hits against the Minnesota Twins during the eighth inning of their game on September 25, 2011 at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio. The Twins defeated theIndians 6-4. (Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images)
David Maxwell/Getty Images
Kyle SkovCorrespondent IINovember 5, 2011

Jim Thome will play for at least one more season and the destination is Philadelphia.

The 41-year-old slugger said, “I’ll keep playing, I just need teams to call me. I can’t go play in the backyard by myself. I don’t know the demand for a 41-year-old DH but my passion is I want to continue to play.”

The Phillies got a bargain on a DH for $1.25 million dollars. Oh wait, they play in the National League and Jim Thome will be asked to ride the bench except for pinch-hitting appearances and interleague play because he is behind Ryan Howard in the pecking order for his defensive position at first base.

Well, the Phillies got some added power to their lineup whenever he is able to squeeze in, but Thome is a player that needs to get in a rhythm at the plate if he is going to be productive.

This is not going to happen with a National League team like the Phillies because they cannot use him as a DH, which he himself realizes is his role as he is in the twilight of his career.

Thome played 93 games last season and put up 15 home runs, 50 RBI and a .256 batting average, not too bad for an aging star.

This year he will not be able to even replicate anything close to the numbers that he had last season.

He will instead become a role player who will reside on the bench and could more than likely end up as trade bait at some point in the season when negotiating with an American League team.

The Phillies did in fact get a steal, but Thome is not the missing piece that is going to automatically push them over the top and into the World Series.

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