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Sagging O's try to boost offense with Thome

BALTIMORE — Slugger Jim Thome is headed to the Orioles, whose struggling offense is in dire need of some punch.

Thome was traded from the Phillies on Saturday for two minor-leaguers, RHP Kyle Simon and C Gabriel Lino.

Thome, 41, is a five-time All-Star. His 609 homers are tied with Sammy Sosa for seventh on the career list, and his 1,689 RBIs over a 22-year career are 25th all-time.

Thome will move right into the DH role with the Orioles, who have been a surprising contender in the AL East. Out for much of the season with a lower back strain, Thome didn't figure to see much time in the field for slumping Philadelphia. He also had struggled as a pinch-hitter.

"There's a part of me that's happy to go and get a chance to play a little bit. Baltimore is having a nice year and it will be exciting to go over there and try to help those guys win and get some at-bats. I'm excited about that, for sure," Thome said.

"There's always emotions when you're traded because you have so much respect for the Phillies organization," he said.

In 30 games for the Phillies this season, Thome hit .242 with a .338 on-base percentage and a .516 slugging percentage, showing he can still hit for power. He missed more than a month with the back problem, and the Phillies didn't want to risk having him get hurt again.

"I think the disappointing thing for me is that I wasn't able to play as much first base as I thought," he said.

As a DH, Thome can purely focus on hitting.

"We felt Thome's presence and our need on the major-league team were worth the value we have to give up in a trade," said Dan Duquette, the Orioles' executive vice president of baseball operations. "We like both the young players. They're both in A ball. We needed some help to bolster our lineup."

WEAVER STATUE: The Orioles honored Earl Weaver by unveiling a 7-foot statue of the Hall of Fame manager during a ceremony at Camden Yards. Weaver, 81, led the Orioles to four American League pennants and the 1970 World Series championship.

CARDINALS: RHP Eduardo Sanchez and rookie LHP Sam Freeman were optioned to Triple-A Memphis. The contract of rookie LHP Barret Browning was purchased and RHP Maikel Cleto was recalled from the same club.

CUBS: The team officially announced the signing of Cuban OF Jorge Soler to a nine-year, $30 million contract. Soler, 20, will report to the team's minor-league facility in Mesa, Ariz.

D'BACKS: A second opinion confirmed that RHP Daniel Hudson will need season-ending elbow ligament replacement surgery.

DODGERS: North Carolina high school INF Corey Seager, 18, the 18th overall pick in this year's draft, agreed to a $2.35 million deal.

INDIANS: 3B Lonnie Chisenhall went on the 15-day disabled list with a broken bone in his right forearm.

PADRES: Struggling C Nick Hundley was demoted to Triple-A Tucson, and former University of Miami C Yasmani Grandal, one of the team's top prospects, was recalled from Tucson.

PIRATES: CF Andrew McCutchen left in the seventh inning with soreness in his left wrist but said he doesn't expect to miss any time.

REDS: 1B Joey Votto was pulled for precautionary reasons with inflammation in his left knee.

YANKEES: RH reliever D.J. Mitchell was recalled from Triple-A Empire State, and RHP Adam Warren was returned to the farm team a day after he failed to get out of the third inning in his major-league debut.

Sagging O's try to boost offense with Thome 06/30/12 [Last modified: Saturday, June 30, 2012 9:20pm]
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