CINCINNATI - Jim Thome played in parts of only four seasons with the Phillies, but his decision as a free agent to sign in 2002 changed baseball in Philadelphia. And for that, Thome will be inducted into the Phillies Wall of Fame this summer.
The team will honor Thome on Aug. 12. Thome, who hit 101 of his 612 home runs with the Phillies, is eligible for the Hall of Fame ballot in 2018. He already has a statue in Cleveland and is in the Indians Hall of Fame.
He will be the 38th person honored on the Phillies' wall.
"It is extremely humbling and gratifying to be given this honor by the great fans of Philadelphia," Thome said in a statement released by the team. "I always enjoyed playing here, and to join the generations of Phillies greats on the wall is just so special."
Thome signed a six-year, $85 million deal with the Phillies before the 2003 season. The team wanted to increase its payroll before a move from Veterans Stadium to Citizens Bank Park, and Thome became the most prominent free agent to sign with the Phillies in decades.
He had two stints with the Phillies, including a failed experiment in 2012 as a 41-year-old first baseman and pinch-hitter. He bashed his 400th career homer on June 14, 2004, at Citizens Bank Park. His .925 OPS with the Phillies is the third-highest for a Phillies hitter with at least 1,500 plate appearances.
The Phillies released veteran reliever Ernesto Frieri, who was on a minor-league contract and slated to pitch at triple-A Lehigh Valley. Frieri, 30, had an inconsistent spring training and was one of the last cuts.
The current IronPigs bullpen is Elvis Araujo, Andrew Bailey, Luis Garcia, Bobby LaFromboise, Edward Mujica, Colton Murray, and Reinier Roibal.