Jim Thome has agreed to waive his no trade clause in order to return to his old stomping grounds. Thome’s decision allowed the Indians and Twins to come to an agreement that sent the slugger back to Cleveland for a player to be named later.
After he was placed on waivers by the Twins Monday, Thome was claimed by the Indians. The two sides then had until today to get a deal done, but the only thing standing in the way of a agreement was really Thome himself. His no trade clause allowed him to veto a move to any club he didn’t wish to join.
Though some say his first choice would have been to rejoin the Phillies, Thome ultimately agreed to waive the clause in order to return to the Indians, the club that drafted him.
Thome broke into the Majors in 1991 as a 20 year old and spent his first 12 seasons with the Indians. He was a complete masher for the Tribe, averaging nearly 40 home runs a year from 1996-2002. But Thome was not only good for the long ball as he was able to get on base well over 40% of the time during that span with the Indians.
After his monster 2002 season in which he hit at a clip of .304/.445/.677 with 52 home runs and 122 RBI’s, Thome signed a fat three year contract that sent him to Philadelphia.
Thome left as Cleveland’s all-time home run leader and that’s how he’ll return. The Future Hall of Famer cemented his legacy earlier this year when he hit number 600 with the Twins.
While, in some circumstances, this could be seen as just the end of a great career and an all around feel good story. But the Indians are still within reach of the AL Central and Thome can still produce.
With Travis Hafner on the shelf, Cleveland could use an extra power bat. Thome may not play every day but he will be more than just a shrine of the past this year for the Indians.
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