The Twins placed Jim Thome on trade waivers Monday, according to major-league sources. Whether they actually trade him remains to be seen.
The Phillies want Thome as a left-handed hitter off the bench. But Thome, who recently hit his 600th home run, is almost certain to be claimed before the Phils get a crack at him, sources say.
Padres closer Heath Bell, Cubs first baseman Carlos Pena and Twins outfielder Jason Kubel were among the other intriguing names who were placed on trade waivers Monday.
Those players and Thome will be on waivers until Wednesday. Their original teams can trade them to a claiming club or pull them back. Players who go unclaimed are eligible to be traded to any team.
In Thome’s case, he first must clear waivers in the AL. Every NL team also would get a shot at him before the Phils, who own the best record in the majors.
Chances are, Thome will not even get through the AL.
The Indians, another of Thome’s previous clubs, might want to reunite with him; the team on Monday placed Travis Hafner on the DL with a strained right foot.
Other teams also are likely to claim Thome, if only to block him from going to a rival contender. Thome, who turns 41 on Aug. 27, has a full no-trade clause, and can reject any deal.
Another possibility, if the Twins cannot work out a waiver trade for Thome, would be for the team to place him on unconditional release waivers later this month.
Thome then could use his no-trade clause to reject any claim, become a free agent and choose his next team. Under that scenario, he would sacrifice his remaining salary, about $500,000, and the Twins would receive nothing in return.
The team might be willing to accommodate Thome’s desire to play for a contender, but not to that extent.
— Ken Rosenthal