Slugger Jim Thome is headed to the Baltimore Orioles, whose struggling offense is in dire need of some punch.
Thome was traded from the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday for two young minor leaguers: right-hander Kyle Simon and catcher Gabriel Lino.
The 41-year-old Thome is a five-time All-Star. His 609 homers are tied with Sammy Sosa for seventh place on the career list, and his 1,689 RBI over a 22-year career are 25th all-time.
Thome will move right into the designated hitter 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 the slumping Phillies. 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 five home runs and 15 RBI. He missed more than a month with the back problem and the Phillies didn't want to risk having him get hurt again.
''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.''
Thome appears to be the perfect fit.