The Cleveland Indians claimed Minnesota Twins slugger Jim Thome off waivers on Wednesday, and now the teams are engaged in trade talks. Thome has a no-trade clause and his preference would be to land with the Philadelphia Phillies, but he began his career with the Indians and if a deal can be reached, he might accept a trade to Cleveland.
With Travis Hafner likely done for the rest of the season, the Indians are desperately searching for a designated hitter for their struggling lineup. The teams have until Friday to work out a deal.
The Twins are motivated sellers and probably wouldn’t ask for much in return for Thome. At this point the only reason they’d keep the 40-year-old slugger would be for the public relations benefits. Thome is a great guy and he slugged his 600th home run a few weeks ago. Other than that, not much has gone right for the Twins this season and moving him could save them some cash while adding a mid-level prospect to the farm system.
The Indians are currently six games behind the Detroit Tigers in the AL Central, and sit 14 back in the Wild Card chase. They won’t give up much to get Thome simply because their playoff chances are so slim. But, adding him and going on a run could put pressure on the Tigers and maybe make the race interesting in September.
Still, Thome has to agree to a deal and he may just be content to ride out the season in Minnesota.
UPDATED: Thome has accepted the trade and he will be headed to Cleveland.