According to Kelsie Smith of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the Twins have inked Jim Thome to a one-year contract. LaVelle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune is reporting that the deal is worth $1.5 million with another $700,000 available through performance-based incentives.
Thome, who turns 40 near the end of the 2010 season, hit .249/.366/.481 with 23 home runs and 77 RBI last year in 362 at-bats between the White Sox and Dodgers. He will struggle to find playing time in Minnesota but he brings a significant amount of pop to a Twins bench that lacked just that last season. CTB’s own Aaron Gleeman broke down the big man’s potential value in a post last week.
If manager Ron Gardenhire really wants to get creative this year, he can slide usual designated hitter Jason Kubel out to left field and use Thome as the DH against some right-handed pitchers. Delmon Young would then be benched. Whatever the scenario, there’s no doubting that the Twins just got a little bit better, and for a relatively low cost.
The Diamondbacks announced on Monday that the club signed catcher Jeff Mathis to a two-year, $4 million contract.
Mathis, 33, isn’t much with the stick as he owns a career .197/.254/.308 triple-slash line over parts of 12 seasons in the majors. The veteran, though, is well-regarded for his ability to play defense, call games, handle a pitching staff, and get along with his teammates in the clubhouse. As Craig mentioned last year, Mathis is often talked about as a future manager.
As the D-Backs non-tendered Welington Castillo on Friday, Chris Herrmann and Mathis are the team’s two catchers as presently constructed.
ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that free agent shortstop Jimmy Rollins wants to continue playing in 2017.
Rollins, 38, signed a minor league deal with the White Sox for the 2016 season but hit a disappointing .221/.295/.329 over 166 plate appearances. The club released Rollins in the middle of June and he did not sign with a new team. He did join TBS as part of their playoff coverage.
Rollins is almost certainly looking at another minor league contract and will have to earn his way onto a major league roster by performing well in spring training.