Jim Thome Leaning Towards Returning Next Year

ARLINGTON, TX - FILE: Jim Thome #25 of the Minnesota Twins at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on July 28, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. According to reports on August 25, 2011 Thome was traded to the Cleveland Indians. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Cleveland Indians spent their final home game of 2011 celebrating first baseman/designated hitter Jim Thome, which many believe was his final home game of his career. The future Hall of Famer played third base for the first time in 15 years, but the bigger surprise came after the game.

Jim Thome told reporters "Right now, the percentage is higher of me coming back than not," tweets Zack Meisel of MLB.com. We shouldn't expect Cleveland to offer arbitration to the designated hitter this offseason, because Thome doesn't project as a Type A or Type B free agent.

The 41-year-old Thome can still do damage at the plate, hitting .253/.355/.473 with 15 home runs in 318 plate appearances this season. While teams will be lining up to sign Thome as a designated hitter and/or a bat off the bench, expect Thome to be only interested in playing for the contenders. Though he has 17 years of service time under his belt, Thome's never won a World Series. Will Thome and the Philadelphia Phillies hook up for a 1-year deal for 2012?

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