White Sox expected to claim Jim Thome on waivers

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Buster Olney says that there is “a high expectation” that the White Sox will win the waiver claim on Jim Thome. Which, given that they’re the (marginal) contender in the AL with the worst record, makes sense.  I guess Shin-Soo Choo’s dramatic home run yesterday ruined it for the Indians. Pity!

Thome is batting .253/.363/.495 with 12 homers in 234 plate appearances this season.  If the White Sox do claim him and can work out a trade, I presume Adam Dunn will suddenly suffer an “injury” of some sort to free up a roster spot.

In other news, I am going to introduce a resolution this morning that the an AL Central logo be created and that it’s primary feature be a portrait of a smiling Jim Thome.

Padres acquire Phil Hughes from Twins

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Twins right-hander Phil Hughes is headed to the Padres, according to announcements from both teams on Sunday. The Padres will also receive the 74th overall draft pick and cash considerations from the Twins, who are getting minor league catcher Janigson Villalobos in return. Minnesota is expected to absorb $7.5 million of Hughes’ $22 million contract; per MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand, they’ll take on his remaining salary for the 2018 season and pay an additional $5.7 million in 2019.

Hughes, 31, is far from the 16-win, sub-4.00 ERA hurler the Twins enjoyed in 2014. He hasn’t pitched more than 60 innings in any season since 2015, due in part to multiple bouts of back stiffness and shoulder surgeries. He was designated for assignment last week after missing significant time with a left oblique strain and delivering a 6.75 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 6.0 SO/9 through his first 12 innings of 2018.

Villalobos, meanwhile, will provide the Twins with some depth as he continues to work his way through the minor league system. The 21-year-old backstop recently completed a circuit with the Padres’ rookie-level affiliate in the Arizona League, slashing .275/.367/.388 with eight extra bases and a .755 OPS in 98 PA.

The real get for the Padres isn’t Hughes (even with much of his salary already accounted for), but the Competitive Balance B selection in next week’s amateur draft. As MLB.com’s AJ Cassavell points out, the club lost their second-round pick after inking Eric Hosmer to a massive eight-year, $144 million deal back in February.