MINNEAPOLIS -- The Indians brought Jim Thome back to Cleveland once already. Whether or not the team will try do so again this coming offseason remains undetermined.
First, Thome has to decide if the time has come to hang up his spikes or if he wants continue climbing the all-time home run chart for another season. Indians general manager Chris Antonetti believes Thome will find a job if he wants one.
"I think it's really in Jim's hands," Antonetti said. "If Jim wants to play next year, I certainly think he'll have that opportunity. He's demonstrated this year that he continues to be a productive player when he's out there.
"Obviously, he's universally respected throughout the game. He not only brings a tremendous amount on the field, but a tremendous amount off [it]."
On Sunday, the Indians announced that they have given the Twins $20,000 to complete the Aug. 25 trade that sent Thome from Minnesota to the Tribe. The 41-year-old Thome, who has 603 career home runs, will be eligible for free agency at the end of the season.
As things currently stand, Cleveland already has a full-time DH under contract for 2012 in Travis Hafner, who is set to earn $13 million next year. The Indians acquired Thome while Hafner was on the 15-day disabled list, and the veteran hitters are splitting the DH duties down the stretch this season.
Carrying both Hafner and Thome next season might not be realistic.