White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen told reporters tonight that Jim Thome will not be back with the team this year, an announcement that could help the Twins' chances of landing the power hitter.

Here's the Chicago Tribune story:

''To me, it was about at-bats,'' Guillen said. ''I don't want to go through a situation where Jim is not playing two or three days and then the media comes to him and asks him how he's feeling.

''It can be a soap opera.''

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Twins sign Thome to one-year, $1.5 million deal