Twins trade Jim Thome to ClevelandCLEVELAND (AP) — Jim Thome has swung back to the Cleveland Indians.
By: The Associated Press, The Daily Republic
CLEVELAND (AP) — Jim Thome has swung back to the Cleveland Indians.
The slugger accepted a trade from Minnesota on Thursday night to return to the Indians, the team he started with and one hoping its career home run leader can help them run down the first-place Detroit Tigers in the AL Central.
An unexpected season full of surprises and comeback wins for the Indians now has the most improbable return of all.
As he’s done on more than 600 career homers, Thome has rounded the bags and is coming home.
Thome spent 12 seasons with Cleveland from 1991-2002, hitting a team-record 334 homers and helping the Indians get to two World Series. He hit 52 in his final season before signing as a free agent with Philadelphia, a decision that angered many Indians fans who will have to welcome him back.
“He’s excited,” Indians general manager Chris Antonetti said. “He’s fired up to come back and join the team. I am hopeful and confident that fans will embrace him wearing an Indians uniform again. He’s not only an exceptional player but a person as well. Even if he wasn’t a person that hit 600 home runs, he’s just a great person.”
Earlier this month, the five-time All-Star became the eighth player in history to hit 600 homers.
The 40-year-old Thome waived a no-trade clause in his contract to clear his return to the Indians, who have been in contention all season but have lost six of their last seven games amid a rash of injuries. Thome’s arrival will soften the loss of designated hitter Travis Hafner, who is on the disabled list and may need season-ending foot surgery.
“There’s no question it’s a bittersweet deal,” Twins GM Bill Smith said. “But there’s also no question this is the right thing to do for Jim Thome.