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04/23/08 9:50 PM ET
Gardenhire not interested in Thomas
Manager more than happy to have Kubel as designated hitter
By Kelly Thesier / MLB.com
OAKLAND -- The Twins have been lacking power in the lineup early on in the 2008 season, but there is one place the team won't look to find it -- Frank Thomas, who was released on Sunday by the Blue Jays. "I've got a DH," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said when asked about his team's interest in Thomas on Wednesday. "I've got a couple of them, actually. I'm very happy with Jason Kubel. I like Frank, but I'm not really interested in that." Thomas was let go by the Blue Jays after hitting just .167 with three homers and 11 RBIs in 60 at-bats this season. The move came one day after Thomas was told by Toronto manager John Gibbons that his playing time was going to be reduced dramatically. The Big Hurt spoke publicly about his displeasure with the move and even hinted that the Blue Jays were trying to keep him from reaching 367 plate appearances this season, which would have automatically vested a $10 million option for 2009. Toronto is on the hook for the rest of Thomas' $8 million salary for 2008. So the slugger could be had cheap, with the team that signs him paying only a pro-rated portion of the Major League minimum. The Twins showed interest in Thomas when he was a free agent before the 2006 season. But Thomas is looking for a chance to play often, and Minnesota doesn't have room for that right now. "You know what, it would be the same situation here," Gardenhire said of the lack of playing time. "I don't how in the [heck] I would get him at-bats because I plan on letting Jason Kubel have all those at-bats."
Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.