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REPORT: Jim Thome Returns to Philly

20110815_JimThome2Todd Zolecki of is reporting that the Philadelphia Phillies have agreed to a 1-year contract with former slugger Jim Thome.

Jim Thome really kicked off this period of success in Philadelphia baseball when he signed with the Phillies as a free agent in 2003. It was the first time since Pete Rose signed with the Phillies in 1979 that a top notch free agent chose to sign in Philly.  Thome performed admirably as the Phillies 1st baseman, but was injured in 2005 and replaced by Ryan Howard.  Howard hit 22 Home Runs in his short time with the club.  The Phillies traded Thome and opted to keep Howard.

There was speculation at this year's trade deadline that the Phillies would add the slugger because of the need for a left handed power threat off of the bench. That never happened, despite the strong bond between Jim Thome and Phillies manager Charlie Manuel. Instead of Philly, Thome was traded to Cleveland, where he broke into the big leagues.  Thome hit his 600th home run last year and is considered to be a strong contender for the Hall of Fame.

Manuel often refers to Thome as his son.

Thome will likely finish his career in Philly, and will probably play a bench role primarily. I can't remember the last time I was this excited about the signing of a bench player.

More as we get it. 


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