The Minneapolis Star-Tribune is reporting that the Twins are very serious about adding free agent DH/1B Jim Thome. Thome, who finished the year with a .249 average, is only a .213 hitter in 98 career pinch-hit at-bats.
Thome would help beef up the Twins' bench, but it is hard to see how they could effectively utilize him. Jason Kubel is a solid DH coming off All-Star like year, hitting .300 with 28 home runs in 146 games. He does struggle versus lefties, but so does Jim Thome, who is a .238 career hitter versus lefties. (Note: Kubel is a .240 career hitter versus lefties)
Thome could also fill in at first base, but Justin Morneau is one of the leagues best first baseman who can hit both righties and lefties consistently.
Thome can hardly play the field anymore, and you can bet manager Ron Gardenhire will never call on him to be a pinch-runner. If Thome reaches base on a single in a close game, won't the Twins have to burn another player to run for him?
The White Sox are also now in on the Thome race, even though manager Ozzie Guillen told reporters that he doesn't see Thome back in 2010. Guillen changes his mind on reporters daily, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that they are now interested, for better or worse.
The Twins would be better off signing a guy like Rich Aurilia or Reed Johnson. Aurilia is very versatile, and would likely come at a bargain rate.