Report: Jim Thome turned down at least $4 million from Rangers to re-sign with Twins

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As Aaron wrote yesterday, Jim Thome will make $3 million guaranteed with the chance for an additional $3 million in performance-based incentives as part of his new contract with the Twins, but according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, the veteran slugger was offered more than $4 million by the Rangers.

So yes, Thome did leave money on the table here, but as he told Rosenthal yesterday, he simply preferred Minnesota over Texas because of its closer proximity to his family in Chicago.

“If we’ve got a day game at home (on a Sunday), and we’re going from Minnesota to Detroit, Cleveland or Kansas City — or Chicago, of course — it gives me an opportunity to slip home on a Monday off-day instead of not seeing my kids for 2 1/2 to 3 weeks,” Thome told FOXSports.com.

Pretty easy call, really.

Nathan Eovaldi to make 2018 debut for Rays soon

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Rays manager Kevin Cash said that pitcher Nathan Eovaldi will join the starting rotation on Monday or Tuesday to face the Athletics, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports. Eovaldi’s rehab outing with Triple-A Durham went well, even though he gave up eight runs in four innings.

Eovaldi, 28, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2016 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He had arthroscopic surgery in March to remove loose bodies in his elbow. It’s been a long road back. Knowing Eovaldi needed to recover from surgery, the Rays signed him to a one-year, $2 million contract in 2017 that included a $2 million club option for 2018 that they exercised last November.

When Eovaldi last pitched, he ranked among baseball’s hardest throwers, particularly among starters. He averaged 97.1 MPH on his fastball in 2016. Among starters who racked up at least 100 innings that season, only the Mets’ Noah Syndergaard had a higher average velocity (97.9 MPH). It remains to be seen if he still has that velocity after undergoing two procedures on his elbow.

The Rays will be glad to have Eovaldi back. The club has sustained injuries to Jake Faria, Yonny Chirinos, and Jose De Leon.