Could Jim Thome Be Coming Back to the Indians for the Third Time?

Jim Thome, an old familiar face from the Indians' 1990s and early 2000s line-ups, could be making yet another return to Cleveland to play under manager Terry Francona, if the latest rumors pan out.

The last time Thome made his return to Cleveland was in 2011, when he was traded to the Tribe in late August. Just a couple months later, at the end of October 2012, Thome was granted free agency and departed Northeast Ohio once more, signing with the Philadelphia Phillies just days later. Of course, during his brief return to Cleveland, the Indians erected a statue in his honor.

One of the top rumors in Major League Baseball right now is that the Indians are expressing interest in Thome, who has spent 22 years in the majors and is now 43-years-old. His golden days are long behind him, but he put up decent numbers in Baltimore last year, bating .252 with eight homeruns and 25 RBIs.

The Indians have made a lot of moves in the offseason, after having finished off the 2012 season with an embarrassing 68-94 record, but is bringing back an old-timer really going to change their fortunes? Perhaps not, but his veteran leadership might help with the team's younger talent.