It looks like the Second Jim Thome era is soon to be coming to an end in Philadelphia, as they have made the slugger available to American League teams, tweets Jayson Stark of ESPN.
This does not at all come as a surprise, because it's no secret that Thome is about as useful to the Phillies in his current capacity (all-bat, no field) as a raincoat is to a seal. I love the guy, he was a great sign, but he is worthless unless they want to stick him in the field for nine innings (Please, no!) and sacrifice defense in exchange for some offense.
The only value Jim Thome had for the Phillies this year was as a DH during interleague play (that time has passed) and as a DH in the World Series. And with the Phillies currently holding steady at the bottom of the division, the likelihood for a trip to the playoffs is unlikely, much less a trip to the World Series.
That said, they might as well try to extract as much value as possible from Thome, and right now, that means swapping him for a mid-level hitting prospect or a reliever with a couple years left on his contract. He is no good to them right now, so the logical move is to build for the future.
And if you're an American League team in need of a designated hitter, then this move is automatic. Despite a slow start to the season thanks to a nagging injury, the future Hall of Famer Thome has been worth every penny since returning from the DL earlier this month, where he tallied a triple slash line of .302/.388/.698, with five homers in 43 at-bats. Not bad.
I wrote about what teams would be interested in Thome earlier this month, and that list more or less holds true, with the most likely suitors being the Baltimore Orioles, Tampa Bay Rays, and possibly the Texas Rangers.
Thome returning to the Phillies was a nice story, sure, and his last great moment in red pinstripes was a walk off homer against the Tampa Bay Rays last weekend. I, for one, was ecstatic when I heard that they brought him back, but I'll be even more ecstatic if he gets to hoist the Commissioner's Trophy over his head in October, even if it is with another team.