Jim Thome’s monstrous three-run homer yesterday was the 596th of his Hall of Fame career and the Twins measured it at 490 feet, which would be the longest homer in the brief history of Target Field and the longest homer hit by anyone in the majors this season.
Oh, and it also turned a 1-1 tie into a 4-1 win for the Twins, who’re suddenly just five games back in the AL Central despite starting the season 17-37.
My favorite part of Thome’s homer may have been Delmon Young’s reaction to it from the on-deck circle, which is the perfect facial representation of “daaaaaaaamn.”
Thome needs four more homers to become the eighth player in MLB history to reach 600, joining Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Ken Griffey Jr., Alex Rodriguez, and Sammy Sosa. Thome is basically a part-time player at age 40, so in order for him to move above No. 8 on the list and pass Sosa with 609 he’d have to return for a 22nd season in 2012. As a Twins fan I’d certainly love to see him back, as his .965 OPS is the highest in team history among all hitters with 150 or more games.
It was first reported that the Blue Jays and Jose Bautista were close to a deal last night. Now Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is near completion. It will likely a two-year contract in the $35-40 million range.
Bautista had a tough 2016, hitting .234/.366/.452 with 22 home runs and 69 RBI, and some clubs likely considered a long-term deal for the 36-year-old too risky, this leading to the relative lack of reported interest in Bautista by other clubs. But back-to-back ALCS appearances by the Jays and the success and popularity Bautista has experienced in Toronto make his re-signing there a pretty sensible move for all involved.
The Jays, who already lost Edwin Encarnacion to free agency, get their slugger back on a short term deal. Unlike anyone else, they don’t have to give up the draft pick attached to him via the qualifying offer. Bautista, in turn, will make, on average, more than he would’ve made on the qualifying offer if he would’ve accepted it and a raise over the $14 million he made in 2016.
The Padres have signed Trevor Cahill to a one-year, $1.75 million contract.
As recently as the middle of the 2015 season it looked like Cahill’s career would meet a premature end, but after being released by the Braves and signing with the Cubs in August of that season he has been a remarkably effective reliever. He has posted a 2.61 ERA in 61 games in Chicago and has posted a strikeout rate far above his career norms.
He’s not someone you necessarily want taking the hill when the leverage is high, but in San Diego the leverage won’t be all that high all that often.