Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com has the scoop:
According to a baseball source, the Phillies are in serious talks with the Baltimore Orioles about a potential trade involving Jim Thome.
The Orioles are in the market for a designated hitter and the Phillies are willing to deal Thome to a club where he could fill that role.
Thome is still the Phillies down in Miami, but that could change at some point in the very near future.
The 41-year-old has posted a .242/.338/.516 batting line, five home runs and 15 RBI in 71 plate appearances this season. He would serve as a part-time designated hitter for Baltimore if a deal can be worked out.
UPDATE, 5:51 PM: Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun has confirmed through a source that a trade is indeed close and says the Phillies will likely be receiving “minor-leaguers” in return from the O’s.
UPDATE, 6:04 PM: FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that a trade has been agreed upon. It will be announced after the Phillies and Orioles complete the games they’re currently in the midst of playing.
UPDATE, 6:28 PM: According to Rosenthal, the Phils will get right-hander Kyle Simon and catcher Gabriel Lino in return from the O’s. Simon, 21, was a fourth-round selection in 2011. He has a 3.96 ERA in 72 2/3 innings this season at Single-A. Lino, 19, is batting .218/.282/.340 in 56 games — also at the Single-A level.
The Rays started Sergio Romo on back-to-back days and if that sounds weird to you, you’re not alone. Romo, of course, was the star closer for the Giants for a while, helping them win the World Series in 2012 and ’14. He’s been a full-time reliever dating back to 2006, when he was at Single-A.
In an effort to prevent lefty Ryan Yarbrough from facing the righty-heavy top of the Angels’ lineup (Zack Cozart, Mike Trout, Justin Upton), Romo started Saturday’s game, pitching the first inning before giving way to Yarbrough in the second. Romo struck out the side, in fact. The Rays went on to win 5-3.
The Rays did it again on Sunday afternoon, starting Romo. This time, he got four outs before giving way to Matt Andriese. Romo walked two without giving up a hit while striking out three. The Angels managed to win 5-2 however.
Despite Sunday’s win, Cozart wasn’t a happy camper with the way the Rays used Romo. Via Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic, Cozart said, “It was weird … It’s bad for baseball, in my opinion … It’s spring training. That’s the best way to explain it.”
It’s difficult to see merit in Cozart’s argument. It’s not like the Rays were making excessive amounts of pitching changes; they used five on Saturday and four on Sunday. The games lasted three hours and three hours, 15 minutes, respectively. The average game time is exactly three hours so far this season. I’m having trouble wondering how else Cozart might mean the strategy is bad for baseball.
It seems like the real issue is that Cozart is afraid of the sport changing around him. The Rays, like most small market teams, have to find their edges in slight ways. The Rays aren’t doing this blindly; the strategy makes sense based on their opponents’ starting lineup. The idea of valuing on-base percentage was scoffed at. Shifting was scoffed at and now every team employs them to some degree. Who knows if starting a reliever for the first three or four outs will become a trend, but it’s shortsighted to write it off at first glance.