Buster Olney reports that the Rangers are “actively trying to lure” Jim Thome to Texas. I think all teams who negotiate with players are “actively trying to lure” them, but thank you to Buster for livening up the vocabulary on this Monday afternoon.
Thome would be an interesting fit in Texas. Like all big power hitters, you figure he’d love to mash taters in the Ballpark at Arlington. With Michael Young hitting against lefties and Thome against righties, the Rangers would likely get more production from the DH slot than anyone next season (Young will get plate appearances from other positions too). It’d be a great signing if the Rangers can “lure” him.
The only question is price. Thome says he wants to make up for what he didn’t make last season, when he was a bargain at $2 million. Given that the Rangers paid Vlad Guerrero $5.5 million this past year, it’s not like they have some unlimited DH budget. Of course, they’re gonna sell a lot more tickets in 2011. And Thome could be a difference maker for them.
Free agent outfielder Peter Bourjos is heading back to the Angels on a minor league deal, per a report from Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors. The agreement includes an invitation to spring training, but has not yet been officially confirmed by the team.
Bourjos, 31, played out a one-year gig with the Braves in 2018 and slashed .205/.239/.364 with four extra-base hits and a .603 OPS through a career-low 47 plate appearances. He showed more promise during a short-lived stint with the Giants’ Triple-A squad in the second half of the season, but elected free agency in early November and had yet to catch on with another major league club. His deal with the Angels represents a homecoming of sorts, as he played some of the best years of his career in Anaheim from 2010 to 2013 before getting traded to the Cardinals in a multiplayer swap for David Freese and Fernando Salas in 2014.
The veteran outfielder is long past his prime, but could still bring some value to the team as outfield depth behind Justin Upton, Mike Trout, and Kole Calhoun. Per Adams, he’s expected to compete for a spot as the Angels’ fourth outfielder, though he also has limited experience at DH as well.