|Photo from the Examiner website|
Well, this was an unexpected move. It's been quite some time since the Orioles have been in any sort of a position to add players midway through the season in an effort to boost the team for a run at the play-offs, but that's exactly what they did on Saturday. They acquired long-time masher and likely future Hall-of-Famer Jim Thome from the Phillies in return for two prospects, hi-A Frederick Keys pitcher Kyle Simon, and low-A Delmarva Shorebirds catcher Gabriel Lino. I'm not a huge fan of giving up prospects for a short-term veteran rental when the team is still trying to build a strong foundation for years of success in the future, but I get that the Orioles are in the position to win now, or at least they were prior to the past two weeks.
All told, I'm a fan of Thome and have always heard that he does things the right way and is a great clubhouse guy. It's also pretty unlikely that he could hit much worse than the players who have been getting time at 1B/DH, so this move should upgrade the club for the duration of the season. Thome is tied with former Oriole Sammy Sosa for 7th place on the all-time home run list with 609 jacks, so I hope that he can at least break that tie (or blow past it!) during his time in Baltimore as Sammy didn't exactly leave town on a high note.
As you might have guessed since I didn't picture an autograph at the top of this post, I do not have a Thome signature in my collection. I nearly was able to get him to sign my card at a Nationals-Dodgers game in DC a few years back during his tenure with LA but just missed out on him. Who knew that would come back to bite me? Oh well, hopefully Jim will be a good signer and I can get him soon enough.