Jim Thome planning to return for the 2011 season

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Jim Thome sits eighth on the all-time career home run list with 589 dingers.  And now it sounds like he might catch Sammy Sosa (609) at seventh before his playing years are through.

The veteran designated hitter told the St. Paul Pioneer Press after Saturday’s ALDS loss that he plans on returning for the 2011 season.

“Yeah, I think I’m going to come back,” he said.

Thome, 40, posted an excellent .283/.412/.627 batting line and 25 homers in just 276 at-bats this year.  It’s safe to assume that he has interest in rejoining the Twins, but his free agent value will be pretty high and a number of teams will be on the hunt for power this winter.

Thome signed a bargain-rate $1.5 million contract with Minnesota last offseason after the White Sox decided to let him walk.  The Twins won the American League Central but were eliminated in the ALDS this weekend by the Yankees.

Report: Momentum in talks between Mariners, Jon Jay

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MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that there is some momentum in talks between the Mariners and free agent outfielder Jon Jay.

Jay, 32, hit .296/.374/.375 in 433 plate appearances with the Cubs last season, which is adequate. He’s heralded more for his defense and his ability to play all three outfield spots.

The Mariners are losing center fielder Jarrod Dyson to free agency and likely don’t want to rely on Guillermo Heredia next season, hence the interest in Jay. The free agent class for center fielders is otherwise relatively weak.