Earlier today, it was announced that the Twins re-signed DH Jim Thome to a 1-year, $3 million contract with plenty of incentives based on plate appearances. The news of this signing brings up many thoughts for me.
First, I looked back at my offseason blueprint and noticed that I had wanted to sign Thome to a 1-year, $4 million deal. I overestimated the contract just a bit, but the incentives in the real contract could push Thome’s pay up to the levels that I predicted back in November. I do admit to being a bit surprised by the low base salary after Thome reportedly wanted more money when he saw how much Lance Berkman received from the Cardinals ($8 million for one year), but I think his demands went down when he realized he wouldn’t get much playing time and the plate appearance incentives could end up pushing the total salary into a range he wanted in the first place if he gets his name into the starting lineup again.
Second, many people were starting to worry about the Twins since their only major moves had included trading away J.J. Hardy and Jose Morales and signing Tsuyoshi Nishioka, but I mentioned that we haven’t even played a single game yet and many things could still happen between now and Opening Day. I’m not claiming to be prophetic; it was inevitable that the Twins would make a signing or two since they had never admitted to be done with making major moves.
Third, this is the second consecutive year the Twins sign Thome without actually needing him. Yes, he does improve the offense, but I (along with quite a few others) believed that it was more important to sign a righthanded bat. The possibility is still open (come on, Marcus Thames!), but regardless, I’m still happy to see Thome get added to a bench that would have consisted of Drew Butera, Matt Tolbert, Jason Repko, and either Luke Hughes or Trevor Plouffe.
Finally, this signing not only keeps these things relevant (speaking of which, I need to find mine again), but it also means that I may be forced to stand on the target range again. Plus, the chances of watching or even nabbing #600 from Thome will be worth it, even more than receiving this and that.