Jim Thome’s 11 home runs short of 600. One more season should be enough for him to reach that milestone.
His goal, though, is to play two more.
“Last year kind of revived me in a lot of different ways,” Thome, 40, said in a telephone interview Sunday. “ I went from not getting a phone call until late (in the offseason) to (joining) an awesome organization. Minnesota was a wonderful place to play.
“It was a little different role for me. I didn’t play every day. I came to grips with that. What it did for me was make me realize how much I still want to play, that passion I still have for the game.
“As we get older, every year you always wonder: ‘Am I still going to have it?’ You start getting up there in years, you say to yourself, ‘The players are young. They’re good.’ But it sunk in to me that I want to continue to play. I’d love to play two more years. I would.”
Thome, who signed a one-year, $1.5 million free-agent contract with the Twins last February, said his agent, Pat Rooney, has received calls from multiple teams expressing interest.
He enjoyed a spectacular resurgence last season, hitting 25 home runs in 276 at-bats and batting .283/.412/.627. His playing time at DH increased after first baseman Justin Morneau was lost for the season on July 7 with a concussion.
Due to the high number of first baseman/DH types on the open market, Thome likely won’t sign quickly, but he said he’s been working out for the past month and is confident he’ll land a job for next season.
“Yeah, I am. Absolutely I am, yes,” Thome said. “There have been some teams that have called. I know, obviously, the winter meetings are just getting started. I’m sure this week, hopefully, things will kick in, get exciting. We’ll see where it takes us.
“I’ve come to learn from last year, you never know what’s going to happen. I’ll take it day by day, trust in the system. Hopefully a team out there will call and want my services.”