Jun 30, 2012, 6:38 PM EST
As much as we like Jim Thome around these parts — and it’s been proven on multiple occasions this year those sentiments exist in more places than just the Delaware Valley — how he fit in with the Phillies the rest of the was a mystery. He was re-injured attempting to play first base, and when the club determined they would not try him there again, all that was left was a pinch hitter.
Thome demonstrated he can still mash during interleauge play though, and more importantly, that he had value to an American League team. Our Jim Salisbury reported earlier the Phils were in talks, and now FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal is confirming one of the teams that saw Thome firsthand, the Baltimore Orioles, has agreed to trade for the slugger’s services.
The deal was made official after the Phillies and Orioles completed today’s games, with the Fightins landing a pair of Single-A minor leaguers: catcher Gabriel Lino pitcher Kyle Simon in the exchange. The Inq’s Matt Gelb adds the nugget that Joe Jordan, the Phillies’ farm director, spent the previous seven seasons with Baltimore, so he should know a thing or two about the returning prospect.
Thome was outstanding as a designated hitter during interleague games on the road, batting .342 with five home runs and 15 RBI. While he recently hit a pinch-hit, walk-off blast to secure a Phillies victory, traditionally Thome has not been strong in that role. That dinger was his lone hit in 17 pinch appearances this season, and lifetime he’s sporting a .213 average with a strikeout-to-walk ratio that approaches 3:1.
Lino — a 19-year-old, non-drafted free agent from Venezuela — is batting .218 with 28 runs scored, 4 homers, and 18 RBI for the Delmarva Shorebirds in the South Atlantic League. The 21-year-old Simon is 2-8 with a 3.96 ERA in 14 starts this season with the Frederick Keys in the Carolina League — he was a fourth-round pick out of Arizona in the 2011 draft.
We love ya, Jim, but this is what’s best for everybody. You get to play more baseball, the Phillies get… something. But we sure will miss those jaw-dropping bombs.
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