Blog Entry

Twins bring back Jim Thome; Balfour to A's

Posted on: January 14, 2011 12:29 pm

ThomeThe Twins are bringing back DH Jim Thome, as the club's Twitter feed announces. Kelly Thesier of reveals the deal is for $3 million, with salary incentives based on playing time.

Thome, who played for Minnesota in 2010, cranked 25 home runs and could reach 600 career blasts provided he hits 11 in 2011.

While that normally wouldn't be a problem for Thome, playing time may factor in his chase for 600. Thome largely served as a platoon DH for the Twins, playing primarily against right-handers. However, Justin Morneau's concussion opened the door to ample playing time which may be in short supply with Morneau returning and Delmon Young proving worthy of additional playing time.

While the 40-year-old can't play full-time these days, he may struggle to see 250 at-bats in 2011. The Rangers were speaking to Thome about a possible deal, but Texas would have been hard-pressed to guarantee Thome more playing time than Minnesota.

The Twins will have Morneau at first base, Young in left and Michael Cuddyer in right field. That leaves Thome frozen out along with Jason Kubel in what should be a pretty dire roster crunch.

BalfourIn other news, the Athletics are poised to sign Grant Balfour, with only a physical standing in the way as Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. ESPN's Buster Olney adds that Balfour will receive $8.1 million over two years, a pretty penny for a reliever but in a market where relievers are getting outrageous deals, it's not too terrible relatively.

Balfour should setup closer Andrew Bailey and could step in for a few saves himself. The Rays will receive Oakland's second-round pick as well as a compensatory first-round pick, giving Tampa 10 picks prior to the second round.

-- Evan Brunell

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Since: Jun 13, 2008
Posted on: January 15, 2011 6:00 am

Twins bring back Jim Thome; Balfour to A's

There's one major hurdle that Gardenhire & the Twins need to figure out between now & more importantly during Spring Training;& that is the fact that they have 2 bats that are pretty much suited for the same role,LH DH/PH.Being that they just signed Thome to a deal I'm sure to see him get starts at the DH position vs SP who he has favorable numbers against.They'll want a nice,healthy return if they traded Kubel,which I wouldn't blame them,I mean the guy did knock in what,91 Runs in 2010.I don't see that as something that would happen.Oakland got themselves a nice deal picking up RP Grant Balfour who as you said Evan will probably best be suited for the 8th inning job & the bridge to Bailey.Man,all I know is I cannot wait to start prepping for my draft which I've technically started to do.Early to mid-March I'll start tiering my players according to position & before ya know it;draft time! 

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