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Thome Trade Rumors from USA Today

Jul 15, 2005, 12:02 PM EDT

I asked the question last week: Can we trade Jim Thome?  According to USA Today, the Phillies are trying to do just that.  While Thome was a fan favorite, his wretched season to date along with his injuries and the emergence of youngster Ryan Howard, it seems fans would be fine with a Thome deal.  Thome was a great player for the Phillies in the past, but he got old fast.  Will anyone want to make a deal for him?  I would be very surprised, but welcome the idea.  USA Today:

The Phillies, according to two National League clubs who were asked by the Phillies to not publicly convey their intentions, have been trying to trade Thome, who still is owed $54 million through 2008. If they can find someone to take Thome, they’ll keep rookie first baseman Ryan Howard, who was hitting .371 with 16 homers and 54 RBI at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. There are four teams who have made offers for Howard, but the Phillies first are exploring trades for Thome.

Thome, who’s on the disabled list with elbow tendinitis, could become the first high-priced commodity to move in the Phillies’ fire sale. The Phillies told one NL executive that virtually everyone is available, which could lead to a massive bidding war for closer Billy Wagner.

The Phillies aren’t making their intentions public, but they realize they’re not going anywhere. They’ve been hovering around .500 all season, and are 45-44, 7½ games out of first place in the NL East. They won’t catch Washington, Atlanta or even Florida, likely costing GM Ed Wade his job this fall.

"The way we’re playing now, if anybody is fool enough to sit there and think we’re a playoff team, they’re crazy," Wagner told reporters last week.