Hey Guys: Jim Thome Could Return To Tribe

In news that could make me the happiest blogger who also runs a Jim Thome-themed baseball webcomic on the entire Internet, Minnesota Twins designated hitter Jim Thome was claimed on waivers by the Cleveland Indians. Jason Kubel was also claimed by the Chicago White Sox, but does anybody care about Jason Kubel, honestly? It’s all about JIM, the latest member of the 600 home run club, the man who spent twelve years, three All-Star Game appearances and two World Series Championship near-wins (okay, one World Series near-win) in Cleveland. He accepted a contract with the Phillies and everyone in Cleveland turned on him, but I am not going to care about that because CAPITAL LETTERS and BASEBALL JOY.

Of course, the deal isn’t official yet.

The claims do not mean that either player will change teams. The Twins can trade Thome and/or Kubel. They also can keep one or both or allow one or both to leave on a claim.

Thome, who holds a full no-trade clause, and can reject any deal. He prefers the Phillies to the Indians, one source said, but it’s doubtful he could circumvent the waiver process to land with Philadelphia.

The Twins must decide on Thome and Kubel by 1 p.m. ET Friday. The Indians are six games out in the AL Central, the White Sox 61/2 out. But Thome could fit well in Cleveland, and the same is true of Kubel in Chicago.

Of course, getting Thome to the Phillies (again, argh) would be a pretty complicated process — the Twins would have to pull him off trade waivers and place him on release waivers, and Thome would have to reject every team claim besides Philadelphia … and even then he’d have to give up 500-grand in salary, convince the Twins to let him do this even though they’d get nothing in return, and not piss off every rival team with wire manipulation. All he’d have to do to get to Ohio is hang out, switch back to brown mustard and renew his season tickets at the Cleveland Play House.

More on this story as it develops, possibly involving me jumping up and down and clapping.