CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury first reported that a move appeared imminent earlier this evening and FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal confirmed that a deal has been agreed to. The deal is expected to be officially announced shortly.
In return, the Phillies will receive righthander Kyle Simon and catcher Gabriel Lino—both minor leaguers of little prospect merit.
The trading of Thome does not necessarily signify that the Phillies have given up on their season. Given that Thome has nothing in the way of defensive value and the Phillies are expecting first baseman Ryan Howard back at some point in the second half, there simply is no place for Jimmer Jam on the roster.
The Orioles, meanwhile, claim to need some help at DH going forward, but it’s difficult to understand why. Currently, the Orioles have Mark Reynolds, Chris Davis and Wilson Betemit on their roster to fill the two corner infield positions and DH. Betemit and Davis have both been decent this year and while Reynolds has been disappointing he nonetheless has more of a track record than the other two.
Davis has been playing some games in rightfield recently so the smart money has all four getting into the lineup with Betemit at third, Reynolds at first, Davis in right and Thome designated hitting.
Another option could be platooning Reynolds and Thome from time to time at DH. So far this year, Reynolds has been awful against righthanded pitching hitting .192/.314/.369, while simultaneously faring well against lefties with a .273/.396/.432 slash line. Thome meanwhile, traditionally fares much better against righties. Still, it’s likely that all four will be in the lineup more often than not.
Thome, as he has been throughout his career, has been excellent this season posting a 127 wRC+ with five home runs in only 71 plate appearances. Thome getting more plate appearances with Baltimore should help then stick in the AL East race just a little longer—even if it does end up being futile.
Given that there is still another month before the non-waiver trade deadline, if the Orioles do as expected and start to tank, there’s still time for them to trade Thome to an actual contender.
Thome is a career .277/.402/.556 hitter and is tied with Sammy Sosa for seventh all-time with 609 home runs.