Wow. Was just watching tonight’s game when Vin Scully made the announcement: “The Dodgers have just announced that they have aquired Jim Thome for a player to be named later. Big Jim with 23 home runs this year…wow, will he fit in. Imagine the lineup with Manny Ramirez, Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier and Jim Thome. Whoa.”
This definitely was one move I was not expecting the Dodgers to make. I guess if you can’t get more starting pitching, the next best thing is add more power, right? A free agent after this season, Thome must have waived his no trade clause. Speaking of new Dodgers, Ronnie Belliard went deep in his first at bat as a Dodger (and fifth time this year!) while turning two double plays – very nice.
So where exactly is Thome (normally a DH) going to play? It definitely sounds like more moves are coming…is Thome really a fourth or fifth outfielder? A left hander off the bench? Maybe. Can he play first base? I doubt it…he hasn’t played in the field for nearly two full years.
UPDATE: Just learned that Jon Garland has also been traded to the Dodgers for a player to be named later. Garland is 8-11 this year with a 4.29 ERA, but he is traditionally known as an “innings eater”, a guy who has won his last two starts and I believe is someone the Dodgers were considering making a run at before last season. Interesting to note that Garland and Thome were teammates on the White Sox a few seasons ago. Even more interesting to note that Garland was supposed to start against the Dodgers on Thursday, and now could start the same night against his old team that same night.
Ned Colletti on “Dodgers Live” after tonight’s game:
“Jim Thome is a great hitter, a home run hittter. Is he in the twilight of his career? No question…he’ll tell you the same thing. He’s also a great leader and we felt that we needed as much leadership as you can have, especially late in the season. He (Thome) called me about 8:30 tonight and said, ‘Look I wanted to call you. I know you guys have interest and I want you to know that me playing first base is probably not going to be an option, but I’ll come off the bench and I’ll do everything I can to help this team win.’ I says, if you’re in, we’re in. He says, ‘I’m all in.’ And I says, lets go do it.”
Well, say what you will about Ned, but he’s certainly going for it. Frankly, he had to as the team in it’s composition yesterday was simply not good enough to advance far in the playoffs. These moves were needed. The Dodgers have only three pinch hit home runs all year, and craved power from the reserves. Thome and Belliard are huge upgrades and veteran leadership. Plus, what a DH the Dodgers have in Thome if they go to the World Series.
So what do you think? Good moves for the post season or not the right moves? Let’s hear your thoughts!