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Thome chases ring in LA, but still has Chicago on his mind

Jim Thome may be chasing his first World Series ring with the Dodgers, but that doesn’t mean he’s put Chicago behind him. The native-Illinoisan would welcome a return to Chicago:

''I’ll be honest, I would still love to come back,’' Thome said, tightening the blue batting gloves on each hand. ''I still care about the city. I mean, we’re going to live there. Chicago’s very fond in my heart. The time that I spent there, [chairman Jerry Reinsdorf] treated me great. I guess we’ll deal with that when this is all over with.’'

Thome, 39, will be a free agent this offseason. He hopes to have that elusive World Series ring on order once he files for free agency. But either way, he knows his days with the Dodgers are numbered.

...But if the Sox say no, Thome seems determined to make a return to the American League Central and his next call likely would be to the -- brace yourself -- the defending division-champion Twins.

This is pure speculation on Chris De Luca’s part, of course, but the future Hall of Famer should have no shortage of suitors now that he will be free of the seven-year, $85 million contract he signed with the Phillies in 2002. Equally enticing will be his chase with history. Thome’s 564 home runs rank 12th all-time. He is just five home runs behind Rafael Palmeiro for 11th all-time. If he hits at least 20 home runs next season (something he has done in 15 of his last 16 seasons) Thome would crack the top 10.