Thome hops to 10th on the all-time career home run list

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Jim Thome blasted two home runs in the Twins’ 8-6 loss to the Rays on Saturday, moving into sole possession of 10th place on Major League Baseball’s all-time career home run list.  Here’s a look at the updated list, with the still-active names in bold:

Barry Bonds            762
Hank Aaron             755
Babe Ruth               714
Willie Mays              660
Ken Griffey Jr.          630
Sammy Sosa          609
Alex Rodriguez     595
Frank Robinson     586
Mark McGwire         583
Jim Thome            574
Harmon Killebrew   573
Rafael Palmeiro     569
Reggie Jackson     563

That’s some rather impressive company, and it really must have been a special day for Thome.   According to MLB.com’s Kelly Thesier, the veteran slugger received a phone call from
Killebrew shortly
after passing him on the list. 

“I’m happy for him. Jim is a great guy and if anyone passed me, I’m
glad it was him,” Killebrew said from Arizona. “I hope he hits a bunch more over the rest of the year
for the Minnesota Twins.”

Thome, 39, has done everything that the Twinkies have asked of him this season since signing a bargain one-year, $1.5 million contract in the winter.  Through 124 at-bats, he has a .258/.388/.597 slash line, 10 home runs and 25 RBI.  He also owns a 1.058 OPS against right-handed pitchers.

Angels sign Eric Young, Jr. to a minor league contract

ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 11:  Eric Young Jr. #4 of the Atlanta Braves slides safely into third base on a RBI triple in the fifth inning against the New York Mets during the Braves opening series at Turner Field on April 11, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia.  Andrelton Simmons #19 scored on the triple.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels have inked outfielder Eric Young, Jr. to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Young, 31, played in just six games and logged one plate appearance in the majors this past season with the Yankees. He last played regularly in 2014. While Young doesn’t do much with the bat, he could provide value as a pinch-runner. He also offers versatility, having played all three outfield positions along with second base.

The Angels have Ben Revere as their fourth outfielder and Jefry Marte behind him, so Young would need to have a very impressive showing in spring training to find a spot on the Angels’ roster.

Report: Blue Jays close to a deal with Jarrod Saltalamacchia

TORONTO, CANADA - JULY 9: Jarrod Saltalamacchia #39 of the Detroit Tigers hits an RBI single in the fourth inning during MLB game action against the Toronto Blue Jays on July 9, 2016 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
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Update (5:20 PM EST): It’s a minor league contract, per Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. If he makes the major league roster, Saltalamacchia will earn $1.25 million with an additional $250,000 available through incentives.

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The Blue Jays are close to a deal with free agent catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet is reporting.

Saltalamacchia, 31, hit a meager .171/.284/.346 with 12 home runs and 38 RBI in 292 plate appearances with the Tigers this past season. With Russell Martin getting regular playing time behind the plate, Saltalamacchia will serve as his understudy, pushing A.J. Jimenez and Juan Graterol down on the depth chart.

The veteran catcher isn’t far removed from being a productive backstop. He had an .805 OPS in 70 games with the Diamondbacks in 2015 and also helped the Red Sox win the World Series in 2013 with an .804 OPS in 121 games.