The Blue Jays may be on the verge of adding another powerful bat to their lineup. According to ESPN.com, Toronto is nearing a multi-year deal with free-agent slugger Frank Thomas that could be worth between $20 million-$30 million. According to the report, the deal with Thomas is contingent on him passing a physical.
Toronto general manager J.P. Ricciardi could not be reached for comment. Another source within the organization told MLB.com that the report was more substantial than a rumor, but they would neither confirm nor deny that a deal had been reached.
The Jays were rumored to be interested in Thomas last winter, when the 38-year-old DH signed an incentive-laden contract with Oakland after spending 16 years with the Chicago White Sox. Last season, Thomas had a base salary of $500,000 and made $2.6 million more after a strong year at the plate.
The two-time American League Most Valuable Player bounced back from an ankle injury in 2006 and hit .270 with 39 home runs and 114 RBIs in 137 games. Thomas eclipsed 30 homers for the ninth time in his career and the 39 long balls were his most in a season since '03.
Toronto doesn't currently have a solution for its DH role. The club traded DH Shea Hillenbrand in July and Frank Catalanotto, who split time between designated hitter and left field in the second half last year, is a free agent this winter. The Jays were considering using rookie Adam Lind as a DH next year if they couldn't fill the need this offseason.
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.