Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Notes on Thome, Nady & Garland

Several more free agent signings on which to make comment.

Jim Thome signs one-year, $1.5 million deal with the Minnesota Twins

Thome split the 2009 season between the Chicago White Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers. He hit .249 with 23 home runs and 77 RBI. All 23 of his dingers came in a Chisox uniform. Thome is the 12th on the all time home run list with 564 - one ahead of Reggie Jackson.

It is expected that Thome, who turns 40 in August, will not be an everyday player. Rather he is simply an extra left handed bat off the bench. The question is can Thome adapt to this role after being an everyday player all these years. It was difficult for him to make that adjustment during his brief stint with the Dodgers. But he could still be helpful to the Twins.

Xavier Nady signs one-year, $3.3 million deal with the Chicago Cubs

This is a gamble for the Cubs. Nady played only 9 games with the New York Yankees in 2009 before missing the rest of the season due to Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. This is the second Tommy John procedure Nady has undergone in his career. Nady had the best year of his career in 2008 splitting his time between the Yankees and the Pittsburgh Pirates hitting .305 with 25 home runs and 97 RBI. Even if he is healthy I am not sure he replicates those numbers at Wrigley.

Jon Garland signs one-year, $5.3 million deal with the San Diego Padres

After pitching with the Chicago White Sox for eight seasons, this is Garland's fourth club in three years. Following the 2007 season, Garland was traded by the Chisox to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for shortstop Orlando Cabrera. Garland spent one season with the Angels before signing with the Arizona Diamondbacks as a free agent last year. It was at the end of August the D'Backs dealt Garland to the Dodgers for a player to be named later.

Last season, Garland went 11-13 with a 4.01 ERA. He joins a rotation that will include Kevin Correia, Chris Young, Mat Latos and Clayton Richard (who was acquired in the Jake Peavy trade.) If Young is healty, Richard and Latos blossom while Correia and Garland remain steady the Padres could contend in the NL West in 2010.

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