Jim Thome passes Mark McGwire for ninth place on all-time home-run list

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Jim Thome has connected for a pair of home runs during this afternoon’s game against the Rangers, passing Mark McGwire for ninth place on baseball’s all-time home run list. He slugged No. 583 in the third inning and No. 584 — a three-run shot — in the fourth.

Incredibly, the 40-year-old Thome now has 20 homers in just 279 at-bats this season. The fourth-inning blast marked the 16th time in his career that the veteran slugger has reached at least 20 home runs in a season. Hank Aaron holds the all-time mark with 20 seasons of 20-plus homers. Thome is the first 40-something to reach 20 homers since Barry Bonds did it at age 42 during the 2007 campaign.

Thome doesn’t have enough at-bats to qualify, but if he did, he would be fourth in the American League with a 996 OPS right now. Pretty darn impressive. Even more so when you realize that only Barry Bonds and Ted Williams have posted a higher OPS in a single season after turning 40 years old.

With McGwire out of the way, Thome will now set his sights on Frank Robinson, who ranks eighth all-time with 586 home runs. At this rate, he’ll probably pass him by the end of the weekend.

Kyle Gibson, Orioles finalize $10M, 1-year contract

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
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SAN DIEGO – Right-hander Kyle Gibson and the Baltimore Orioles finalized a $10 million, one-year contract on Monday.

The 35-year-old would receive a $150,000 assignment bonus if traded, payable by the receiving team. He also can earn a $25,000 bonus if he is elected or selected for the All-Star team. Gibson was an All-Star in 2021.

Gibson was 10-8 with a 5.05 ERA in 31 starts for Philadelphia last season. He also pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings in two relief appearances in the postseason for the NL champions.

Baltimore gained another experienced arm as it looks to build on its surprising season. After losing 110 games the previous year, the Orioles contended for an AL wild card for much of the summer before finishing 83-79 for the franchise’s first winning record since 2016.

Gibson was an AL All-Star in 2021, going 6-3 with a 2.87 ERA in 19 starts for Texas. He was traded to Philadelphia that July, and he went 4-6 with a 5.09 ERA in 12 appearances for the Phillies down the stretch.

The 6-foot-6 Gibson was selected by Minnesota in the first round of the 2009 amateur draft. He made his big league debut with the Twins in 2013.

He spent his first first seven seasons with Minnesota, going 67-68 with a 4.52 ERA in 193 games, including 188 starts. He had his best year in 2018, finishing with a career-low 3.62 ERA in a career-best 196 2/3 innings.

Gibson, who signed a $28 million, three-year contract with Texas in December 2019, is 89-91 with a 4.52 ERA in 267 major league games.