The Hot Stove is off and running.
Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reports that the Phillies and Jim Thome have agreed on a one-year contract, pending a physical. Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com was told by a source that the veteran slugger will receive $1.25 million.
Thome, who currently sits at eighth place on the all-time list with 604 career homers, batted .256/.361/.477 with 15 homers, 50 RBI and an .838 OPS over 324 plate appearances this season between the Twins and Indians. He previously played with the Phillies from 2003-2005 before being traded to the White Sox in the deal that brought Aaron Rowand to Philadelphia.
The 41-year-old Thome provides an interesting insurance policy at first base for Ryan Howard, who is coming off surgery to repair a ruptured Achilles. However, it’s worth noting that he hasn’t started a game there since 2007 and hasn’t played there regularly since his last stint in Philadelphia. Simply put, if all goes according to plan, he’ll likely function as a left-handed bat off the bench. Now reunited with Charlie Manuel, this is mostly about giving him his best chance at finally getting a World Series ring.
The Blue Jays placed right-hander Aaron Sanchez on the 10-day disabled list with a contusion in his right index finger, per a team announcement on Saturday. The assignment is retroactive to Friday. In a corresponding move, righty Marcus Stroman was activated from the DL (right shoulder fatigue) and will take the mound for the Blue Jays at 9:07 PM ET tonight.
Sanchez, 25, is in his fifth season with the club. He hasn’t looked his sharpest so far this year, going 3-5 in 15 starts with a career-worst 4.52 ERA, 5.1 BB/9 and 7.6 SO/9 through 79 2/3 innings. It’s not yet clear how long he’ll be sidelined, though he could miss as little as one turn in the rotation before returning to the roster in the next week or two.
Sanchez isn’t the only struggling starter in Toronto’s rotation, either. Per MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm, the team placed southpaw Jaime Garcia on the DL (right shoulder tenderness) as well, with lefty reliever Tim Mayza scheduled to take his spot on the roster. In 13 starts this season, Garcia carried a 2-6 record, 6.16 ERA, 4.5 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 over 61 1/3 innings. Any further decisions pertaining to the rotation — including Tuesday’s starter against the Astros — have yet to be publicly addressed.