ESPN's Buster Olney says the Orioles would be a good fit for the Phillies' Jim Thome, and I agree with him. The question always is, at what price? What would it cost in a trade to get a 41-year-old slugger to see if he has one last push left to help an offensively challenged club?
Olney posted this on his Twitter account tonight:
My speculation and nothing more, at this point: I think that on paper, Orioles and Rangers are two best possible fits for Thome.
Thome has always hit with plenty of pop at Camden Yards, where his career average is just .236, but he has 18 homers and an .859 OPS in 246 at-bats.
In 30 games this year, he is batting .245 with five homers and 15 RBIs, but Thome just did a lot of that damage as a DH for the Phillies during interleague play. He hit .333 (12-for-36) with four homers, 14 RBIs and an 1.137 OPS over nine games against the American League.
In 18 June games, he is batting .295 with five homers and 15 RBIs along with an OPS of 1.062.
Thome is certainly not a help for anything beyond this year and, with his back issues, there is no guarantee he could even help this year.
But he's known as a high-character guy and good teammate and is worth the Orioles making a play for, in my opinion. The Phillies are said to be seeking bullpen help, and I certainly would not part with any of the O's top relievers for Thome. If the price were less than that, I'd be willing to listen though.
Here is Olney's story on Thome.