Slugger Jim Thome Joins the Orioles…

With the Orioles struggling at the plate and in need of a jolt, they traded for Jim Thome from the Philadelphia Phillies. In turn, the Orioles sent two prospects to Philadelphia.

The Orioles today announced that they have acquired DH JIM THOME from the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for minor league RHP KYLE SIMON and CA GABRIEL LINO.

Thome, 41, is a five-time All-Star and is currently tied with SAMMY SOSA for seventh place on the all-time home runs list with 609. He is second among active players in home runs behind ALEX RODRIGUEZ (642) and trails only BARRY BONDS (762) and KEN GRIFFEY JR. (630) among left-handed batters.

Thome’s 1,689 career runs batted in are 25th all-time and his career OPS of .959 is 18th in major league history. Thome is one of eight players in major league history to have 12 or more seasons with 30 or more home runs, joining HANK AARON, Rodriguez, Bonds, MIKE SCHMIDT, MANNY RAMIREZ and JIMMIE FOXX.

In 67 career games at Oriole Park, Thome has hit 18 home runs (one every 13.6 at-bats), scored 45 runs and driven in 45 runs. Thome has hit two of the 65 home runs to land on Eutaw Street.

In 30 games for the Phillies in 2012, Thome batted .242 (15-62) with five home runs and 15 RBI.

Simon, 21, was selected by the Orioles in the fourth round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft and was 2-8 with a 3.96 ERA (72.2IP, 32ER) in 14 starts for Class-A Frederick in 2012.

Lino, 19, was signed by the Orioles as a non-drafted free agent on December 14, 2009 and was batting .218 (45-206) with four home runs and 18 RBI in 56 games for Class-A Delmarva.

To make room on the 40-man roster for Thome, the Orioles designated LHP ZACH PHILLIPS for assignment. In his only appearance for the Orioles in 2012, Phillips allowed two earned runs on three hits and two walks in two-thirds on an inning.

With no offense to most of the Orioles lineup aside from maybe Adam Jones, Chris Davis, and Matt Wieters, there’s no one that strikes fear in it. However, the addition of Thome — even at his adavnced age — helps out somewhat.

With this move, it looks like the Orioles are serious about making a playoff push.

I’m not sure what Thome has left in the tank; however, he’ll give the team a greater veteran presence – at least more than they had before.

If he can even be more a productive bat in the lineup – whether it is as an everyday designated hitter or part-timer – the Orioles will be better for it.