Yesterday, ESPN's Jayson Stark reported that the Phillies may trade Jim Thome to an American League team, who can use him more appropriately as a designated hitter:
The Philadelphia Phillies are quietly making Jim Thome available to American League teams looking for a designated hitter, executives of two AL clubs said Thursday."
We all knew when the Phillies signed Jim Thome that he would likely be used primarily as a left-handed pinch-hitter as they did with the player Thome essentially replaced this offseason, Ross Gload. Thome signed to fill that exact role. A sure Hall of Famer and one of the biggest gentlemen in the game, I would hope the Phillies trade Thome only if it is for his best interests.
When Thome signed, his desires were clear:
"Everyone knows my dream is to win a World Series"
He came to Philadelphia to do it. More and more it appears that the Phillies won't be the team to give it to him in what might be his last season in the major leagues. Thome won American League titles with Cleveland in 1995 and 1997, but failed to win a World Series ring. He joined the Chicago White Sox the year after they won the World Series, and was traded to make room for Ryan Howard who helped bring the Phillies to their World Series victory.
Thome deserves a ring. 609 home runs, a Hall of Fame career and has many records in the books, but he has not won a championship. And that's what a guy like Jim Thome plays the game for.
Ruben Amaro may indeed have approached Thome after the interleague series where Thome showed that he could be an effective DH and asked him what he would like. I could see Thome saying that he was happy here, but if it would benefit the team he would be okay playing for a team like the Chicago White Sox or the Cleveland Indians. Stark points out that Thome does not have a no-trade clause, but I would hope that the Phillies would not screw Thome over.
If Thome wants to stay - let him stay. Use him for what you signed him for. I would love nothing more than to see Thome retire a Phillie. He will always be one of my favorite players of all time.