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bunkerbay

Thome signs with Twins!

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First Ice-Mike

This is a good signing. How many times last year did the Twins need a power threat to hit in the 8th or 9th inning?? This guy gives us the chance to stay in games or win games with one swing of the bat. Almost every closer in the American League in right handed so Thome being left handed in acutally a good thing. Also, say someone in the middle of the order does go down with injury - most likely Cuddy - Thome gives us an established hitter to step right into the DH spot. Who did we have last year?? Morales and Harris - Thome is a huge upgrade over either one. This is a low risk/high reward signing. I don't see any downside here - he will fit in great with our team.

FI

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Willy

Originally Posted By: thatoneguy
Awesome. Now we have a DH who can play 110 games, hit .247 with 20 HR and strike out a lot.

WORLD SERIES HERE WE COME!!!

/sarc

and get run for everytime he gets on base

Sled gets it. Batting average doesn't mean much when determining a hitters effectiveness. He has always posted high OBP and SLG percentages. Besides his strikeouts, he walks a ton too. He has a great eye at the plate and hits for power.

Mauer

Morneau

Kubel

Cuddyer

Thome

Not too many managers are happy about trying to get through that part of the lineup late in games with a tie or one run lead.

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Scott K

Willy, when you put it like that, I kinda like the signing a little more smile

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JBMasterAngler

Pitchers lick their chops to face that lineup in october frown

This would've been a better deal had it happened 3 or 4 years ago. But I agree the rewards can still outweigh the risks.

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pikestabber

Two things...

One, I misquoted myself... Thome had 23 homers, but it was Cuddy who had the lead for the Twins with 32, not Kubel. My apologies.

But c'mon, "Pitchers lick their chops to face that lineup in October..." To face Mauer? Morneau?

Let's look at that line-up again:

Mauer (batting champ, MVP, future HOF first ballet)

Morneau (former MVP, future HOF first ballet)

Kubel (best DH in the AL)

Cuddyer (as solid a slugger as we had all year, save Mauer)

Thome (home run specialist and 9th inning hero too many times to count...usually at our expense)

Put another way, in 2009 that was 141 HRs and 467 RBIs. As a pitcher, the only thing I would be licking is my fingers so I could pull my plane ticket out faster and get the heck outta dodge. My chops would remain thoroughly un-licked. Twins in 2010 are gonna be a blast to watch!

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frogtosser

Twins got him cheap, 1.5 mil where he made 13mil last year. He will help but his role remains to be seen. I still think we need to get Young out of the line up and put Kubel in left. Then Thome can dh.

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B. Amish

if young struggles against righties, that will probably happen.

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pinkfloyd4ever

would have enjoyed him more 3-4 years ago, but its a solid signing, and suprisingly cheap for him, can you imagine Nick Punto makes more $ than Thome? Nothing wrong with the system

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Scott K

But Thome will only be offense, I dont believe he will be playing any position, so it will be only filling in for DH, or PH, then someone will have to come in and pinch run.

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jaguar11

twins pick up these players all the time. usually they end up getting injured or have an awful season. but this one i can see working out in a positive if we get rid of delmon

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mitch Davis

agreed

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zepman

I'll agree too...nice signing but would like him in the DH spot and Young on the bench more. I just don't trust Young yet.

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pikestabber

I was the biggest "get rid of Delmon" advocate from the get-go, but I have to admit that he really turned it on down the stretch last year and made some clutch hits (and his deplorable defense of his early career has steadily become, if nothing else, at least acceptable). I am willing to give him at least the first 4-6 weeks of the season to prove me wrong, but I think he still has a glimmer of hope.

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Scott K

Young has earned the starting job to start the season.

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Big Tom

Young has earned the starting job to start the season.

Actually with Gomez traded and the minors empty, I'd say it's more about no other choices. Based on last year's numbers, he's earned the right to start in August and September.

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Willy

Minors are not empty at the OF position. They are a year or two away, but we have some very good outfield prospects in the major leagues right now. Young still has the potential and is still young, but he needs to have more discipline at the plate or he will never realize his full potential IMO.

Hicks

Morales

Revere

Benson

Kepler

There is plenty down in the minor leagues right now as far as outfielders go. But you are right, there is noone major league ready right now. The Hicks and Morales kids are supposed to be true 5-tool guys. Of course, they can fizzle out also, but I would say the outfield is looking pretty good for our future.

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Big Tom

Good assessment Willy. But as Thome's signing is for this year when we have no minor leaguers ready, my point was this signing was a way to keep the DH productive while giving Kubel a chance to push Delmont by getting some starts.

Not a Delmont hater, just hate watching some brutal defense out of him on a team known for great D and then come up and flail away. I hope we see Delmon start like a house a fire this year instead of the .240 April/May from last year.

With Thome grabbing the DH slot, Kubel brings a .300 average and no drop in defense as an option to Delmon instead of Gomez .223.

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thehawk

This guy has been a twins killer for years and its nice to not have to face him, remember the one game playoff with chicago? But that is a nice amount of cash for a guy who will come off the bench. They say they want a vetern presence in the club house. They have Justin and Joe and Nathan & Cuddy for that. They should have spent that $$ on a 2nd or 3rd baseman. Alexi isnt the everyday option and Harris cannot play 3rd everyday. He could be the everyday DH if Young falls on his face(he could swing so hard & miss that he lands on his chin) then Kuble is the starter in the outfeild. He deserves it more than Young, he really proved himself, especially when Justin went down. I think this is a bad signing just cause the $$ could have been better spent. Plus, like most twins signings, he is old and a risky signing. There is a reason Ozzie put him down the road.

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CodyDawg

Count me in the minority that sees hope for Young. You have to remember, he is still pretty young. Kubel and Cuddyer were still in the minors at his age methinks. The Thome signing does something else that nobody has mentioned. This allows Gardenhire to pinch hit in a key situation in the 5th-7th innings. What this does is put pressure on the other bullpen....do they bring in the good lefty to face Thome? If they do, then Mauer, Mourny and Kubel have 2-3 innings at the end of the game and the good lefty is already burned. If you dont, Thome goes yard on ya. It really puts some pressure on the opposing manager.

Plus, if you add up the games that for whatever reason Span, Kubel, Young, Cuddy, and Mourny miss, that will add up to a fair number of ABs for Thome.

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fishersofmen

Thome signing good for fantasy, bad for Delmon

Thursday, January 28, 2010 | Print Entry

Posted by Eric Karabell

I can understand why Minnesota Twins manager Ron Gardenhire would say that new acquisition Jim Thome is going to be used more as a pinch hitter and occasional DH rather than a regular player. I just don't believe him, and neither should you.

Even at the age of 39, Thome is one of the better hitters the Twins have, ranking behind Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau, but on par with the rest of the team's top hitters in terms of OPS. I've been getting e-mails from those still stuck with Delmon Young in dynasty leagues, and they're all basically asking the same question: Will Young get 500 at-bats this season? I say no, he will not, not with Thome in town. The Twins don't have to find Thome at-bats, but why wouldn't they want to?

For now, the Twins say Young, Denard Span and Michael Cuddyer will be the everyday outfielders, with Jason Kubel the regular designated hitter. Awesome. Here are the overall OPS figures for those players in 2009:

Kubel .907

Cuddyer .862

Thome .847

Span .807

Young .733

Hmm, do you still think Thome is going to sit? I love it how so many people are presuming that Thome is flat-out done. Really? Hitting 23 home runs, with 77 RBIs and a .864 OPS in 107 games for the Chicago White Sox (in 2009) is done? Yes, the White Sox gave Thome a shot to perform in the playoffs by sending him to the Los Angeles Dodgers at the trade deadline, more of a gift than an indictment on his skills. But he easily led the White Sox in OPS. Had Thome been given regular playing time in September, he might have hit 30 home runs and knocked in 90 runs. That's not "done," by any means. In fact, Thome was the second-most productive designated hitter in baseball. Here are the top-5 players from 2009 in terms of OPS when being used as a designated hitter.

Adam Lind .901

Thome .879

Hideki Matsui .866

Luke Scott .845

Jason Kubel .838

That's right, Thome outperformed Kubel in the role, and not even mentioned here is David Ortiz, who fell 97 OPS points below Thome in 2009. I'm not saying Thome is better than Kubel (or Ortiz), but he is a better hitter than Delmon Young. Look, I know the Twins want to give Young, a once-tantalizing prospect, more time to see if he can emerge, but the bottom line is stats are stats. Young walked just 12 times in 416 plate appearances in 2009, one of the most embarrassing walk rates in the game. He struck out 92 times. And it's not like he makes up for it by being Alfonso Soriano, either. In two seasons with the Twins, Young has hit a total of 22 home runs. The Rays tired of Young, and it seems the Twins have too. I realize Young is still only 24 years old, and I'm not saying he'll never be a valuable fantasy option, but I don't think he's even close to Thome in terms of production with the bat. And before you throw any defensive value at me, note that Young might be the worst left fielder in baseball, by pretty much any metric one can find. Mr. Kubel, go get that outfield glove ready.

So what does this all mean for fantasy baseball? Let's take a player-by-player look:

Jim Thome: I'm expecting at least 400 at-bats from him, and around 25 home runs and 85 RBIs. That's right, you heard me. And for those of you in OPS leagues or those that favor walks, Thome is even more valuable. The Twins could hit him sixth, after Mauer, Morneau and Kubel, though that's a lot of consecutive lefty hitters. But heck, Thome also could hit third. He probably won't start against lefties, though it should be noted that Kubel didn't hit lefties well either. Young did.

Best I can tell, there are four draftable DH-only players this season. I'd take Vladimir Guerrero and Hideki Matsui in the top 150 for sure, and David Ortiz is close. I don't think Thome is that much different than Ortiz, really, but I would take Ortiz first. Going with Thome in Round 20, assuming you leave your utility spot open, sounds about right to me.

Delmon Young: In 452 career games, Young's OPS is .738, below average for a corner outfielder. Even before the Thome signing, I was skeptical the Twins would simply play Young everyday and hope for the best. I say expect fewer at-bats -- he got 395 ABs last season -- and similar boring production to the 12 home runs, 60 RBIs and two stolen bases (in seven attempts!) from last year. No, I wouldn't even bother drafting that in a mixed league. Thome is a better fantasy option, even at age 39. That says a lot.

Jason Kubel: Nothing changes for him, really. He's coming off a career season, but he's still in his prime at 27 years old. It's worth noting his OPS while playing left field was 1.059 over 108 plate appearances, considerably higher than when he was the DH. Don't read much into that, but there have been studies over the years that many hitters do perform better at the plate when they are also playing in the field. Kubel might have more improvement left in him.

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Mr.Seaguar

The other day on ESPN first take they were discussing if Thome was a hall of famer. For those scoring at home, if your name comes up as potential HOFer, you have already flamed out. I am reminded of Sparky Andersons words, "The hardest thing to manage is an aging star." What about doddering old star, Spark?If you are a Twins fan the best you can hope for is that Thome goes on the juice and never gets caught.

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bunkerbay

Thome signing good for fantasy, bad for Delmon

Jim Thome: I'm expecting at least 400 at-bats from him, and around 25 home runs and 85 RBIs

If Thome comes close to 400 at-bats that would be awesome. The more I hear from Twins nation though it sounds like Bill Smith is determined to make Grady play Delmon as much as he can just to prove to everyone that the trade he made was a good one. And from what Gardy said it sounds like he agrees with most of us and would like to see Delmon on the bench and Thome with more at-bats. Guess we'll see what happens.......

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Harmonica Bear

When did Gardy say that?

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grousehunter

Thome's second half OPS was 790 while Young had a 839 OPs his second half of the year.

Thome ahd a 209 batting average against left handed pitchers while young posted a 310 batting average against left handers

While that fantasy predicter may be right, its easy to look at certain stats instead of the whole player and sway it in there way.

Either way Young doesn't look like he will ever become the player everyone ever thought he would be, but hes are best option right now. I would not mind one bit playing Thome as our DH against left handed pitchers with Kubel in left field though. Hopefully Young can pull it together and start taking more pitches instead of swinging at everything.

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bassNspear

i watched his interview last night on channel 5 news, and he was all about how the twins play baseball, and how they win games with the small ball. He said hes glad to be part of the twins team, and hopes he can help!

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Windy City Walleye Hunter

Aren't the Twinks tired of picking over the White Sox scrap heap? Didn't Joe Crede tell you anything? I think you guys could get Minnie Minoso pretty cheap and Bill Melton in still looking good, he was the Home Run leader one year! LOL

Here is the skinny on Jim, and I am a huge Thome fan, for every tape measure dinger he hits for you he will ground into 30 outs and double plays to a 2nd baseman who is in short right field on the Thome shift and he will clog up the bases when he does manage to get on base. Love the guy but glad to see him in a Twinkie uni. Take his .240 avg and the homer shots but he will be a real base clogger for a team that prides itself on small ball. His dugout presence is second to none but he is just too old and too slow now. Great batting coach prospect though.

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fishersofmen

Blah, blah, blah. If he stays healthy and gives us 25-30 HR's and 80+ RBI's for a couple million dollars yea thats a huge mistake..... wink

This guy off the scrap heap has personally whooped our $ss for years. I forgot did the Whie Sox make the playoffs last year or did they choke it away again......... whistle

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Windy City Walleye Hunter

I never said it was a huge mistake Fisher, just pointing out the good and bad,and I did say I was a huge Thome fan. As long as you brought up the Pale Hose, when was the last World Series celebrated in Twinkie Town???? My ring is still shiny, yours?

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Rick

You don't have a ring Windy. Much less a shiny one. laugh

Last I heard the only shiny World Series Rings belong to the Yankees and the Pale Hose weren't even in the running for the shiny new rings. grin

The pale hose old rings were mistreated by you pretty bad being in the Twins dust last year.

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harvey lee

Windy, maybe you are just a bit sore about Thome leaving Chi Town.

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