The Cleveland Indians are fading fast in the American League Central. They hope one of the last icons of the glory days can help breath life into their postseason chances in 2011. After placing a waiver claim in on Jim Thome yesterday, the Indians and Twins agreed to a deal for Thome after the Tribe's all-time leader in home runs waived his no-trade claus to return to the place he played his first 12 seasons in the Majors.
Indians GM Chris Antonetti is happy to add a player like Thome this late in the season.
"Jim Thome is a Hall of Fame-caliber player and person. He has meant so much to this organization - both on and off the field - and it is an honor to bring him back in an Indians uniform where he created so many great memories. Having his bat and presence in the middle of the lineup certainly improves our team"
Beyond home runs, Thome is also the franchise career leader in walks(997) and is 2nd all-time in club history in career RBI(927), 5th in runs scored(917), 4th in total bases(2633), 3rd in OBP(.414) and 3rd in extra base hits(613). Thome hit 334 home runs as a member of the Indians and completed his quest for 600 home runs on August 15th, becoming the first player to his #599 and #600 in consecutive at-bats.
Whether or not it is too late for Thome to help the Indians remains to be seen, but from a business perspective this was a no-brainer for the Indians who hope that the return of Thome will boost ticket sales with the Cleveland Browns set to begin their season.