Jim Thome signed a one year contract with a base value of $3 million (and the potential to earn another $1.4 million in incentives) to continue playing for the Minnesota Twins the other day. In the process, he turned down a larger offer from the Texas Rangers, which will make him even more of a fan favorite in the Twin Cities as he chases 600 homers.
But the other two big designated hitter names out there this offseason still haven't found a home. Vladimir Guerrero is the more surprising of the two, as he's coming off a fantastic rebound year when he batted .300 with 29 homers and 115 RBI in helping the Rangers to their first World Series appearance. But he won't be headed back there with Adrian Beltre now in Arlington, and so his options are dwindling.
At this point, his best bet may be to return to Anaheim to play for the Angels, for whom he starred for six seasons through 2009. But he seems to want a longer term deal than any team is willing to offer, so unless he decides he's willing to settle for something less, this may still take a while.
Manny Ramirez is in a similar situation, although he's actually coming off a down year in which he wore out his welcome in L.A. while appearing in just 90 games and hitting nine home runs. The current market for his services is colder than the North Pole in a snowstorm, as teams shy away from the always moody slugger. Tampa might throw him a bone, but most other teams' DH needs are set.
I don't think we've seen the last of Manny, but can he possibly swallow his pride to keep playing? This question may not be settled by the start of Spring Training.