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Thomas: WIll he stay or will he go?

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Thomas: WIll he stay or will he go?

Postby Mad'sWife » Thu Oct 30, 2003 7:02 am

10/29/2003 2:00 PM ET
Thomas: WIll he stay or will he go?
By Scott Merkin / MLB.com



Frank Thomas hit .267 with 42 homers and 105 RBIs in 2003. (Mike Fisher/AP)



CHICAGO -- For almost a decade, Frank Thomas seemed to dictate the success of the Chicago White Sox.
If the power-packed designated hitter/first baseman hit 10 home runs in a month or posted a .400 average over 15 or 20 games, the South Siders had a good chance to win a large portion of those particular contests. It didn't matter as much what the pitchers or surrounding offensive players were producing -- as the third hitter in the order and the top player on the team, Thomas could carry the White Sox for large stretches at a time.

Once again, Thomas carries a major impact on the direction of the White Sox. Despite his offensive resurgence in 2003, this influence is solely based on an off the field contractual decision.

Thomas, 35, has until midnight Thursday -- four days after the conclusion of the World Series -- to decide whether he will accept a $6 million option for 2004. If Thomas declines, the White Sox can exercise an $8 million option to retain Thomas for another season.

Indications are if Thomas declines, so will the White Sox, producing a strong possibility Thomas' 14-year run on the South Side would come to an end. White Sox general manager Kenny Williams wouldn't tip his hand regarding Thomas' ultimate thoughts.

"I won't deny that I've had conversations with Frank and (agent Arn Tellem), but they've both asked that these conversations be private, and I'll adhere to that request," Williams told the Associated Press. "The only thing I know at this particular junction is Thursday is coming up.

"More clarity will be given to all of us," Williams added.

Thomas agreed to a one-year deal with a series of options last season, when the White Sox invoked a clause in his contract that deferred most of his $10 million salary. Thomas has an $8 million option for 2005 and another for $10 million in 2006, with a $3.5 million club buyout. Thomas also was able to void the deal after this year.

During the 2003 campaign, in which Thomas bounced back from two sub-par seasons because of a torn right triceps suffered in 2001 during an early-season game against Seattle, the two-time American League Most Valuable Player knocked out 42 home runs and 105 RBIs. Despite moving more toward a power game and away from his .300 career average, Thomas turned in his 10th season with 100 RBIs and 100 walks.

The native of Columbus, Ga., who currently resides in Las Vegas, spoke about playing five or six more seasons. He also expressed interest in finishing his career with the same team he started, an almost non-existent concept in the days of free agency. Thomas made the point that when players such as Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez and Randy Johnson can change teams, anything is possible.

"I've been in this city 13 years, and I'm a Chicago guy," Thomas said in early September. "I take pride in that. It's something special. Hopefully, I will finish my career here."

As the White Sox season came to a disappointing finish, Thomas declined to address any requests to talk about his future. He spoke instead about earning the right to explore other options, while maintaining a focus on staying in Chicago.

Bartolo Colon turned down the White Sox' reported three-year, $36 million offer earlier this week, choosing instead to explore free agency. The right-handed hurler's association with the White Sox apparently came to a close after one season, following a 15-13 record with nine complete games and 242 innings pitched.

Williams and the team will move on to Plan B, an option that could include going after free agent hurlers such as Andy Pettitte, Sidney Ponson, Kevin Millwood or even Toronto's Cory Lidle. Thomas' decision, and the $6 million that might go along with it, could help decide if Williams stays at Plan B or moves on to one of his other back-up plans.

As Williams pointed out, some clarity will be achieved Thursday.

We either make ourselves happy or miserable.

The amount of work is the same.
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Postby Madison » Thu Oct 30, 2003 12:41 pm

I think Thomas will take it.
Yes doctor, I am sick.
Sick of those who are spineless.
Sick of those who feel self-entitled.
Sick of those who are hypocrites.
Yes doctor, an army is forming.
Yes doctor, there will be a war.
Yes doctor, there will be blood.....
Madison
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Postby Madison » Thu Oct 30, 2003 4:10 pm

Well, chalk me up for a correct prediction on this one.


Thomas decides to stay with White Sox

By NANCY ARMOUR, AP Sports Writer
October 30, 2003
CHICAGO (AP) -- Frank Thomas is staying with the Chicago White Sox.

Thomas said Thursday he will exercise a $6 million contract option for next season rather than test the free-agent market for a second straight year.

``After weighing our options, we felt the best decision for Frank was to return to the White Sox,'' Arn Tellem, Thomas' agent, said in a statement. ``I know Frank would like nothing better than to help the White Sox win a World Series title.''

Thomas tested the free agent market for the first time in his career last year after the White Sox invoked a clause in his contract that allowed them to defer most of his $10 million salary.

The two-time AL MVP wound up re-signing with the only team he's ever played for, agreeing to a one-year deal with three mutual options that guaranteed him $22.5 million.

In addition to the $6 million option for next season, he has ones for $8 million in 2005 and $10 million in 2006, a year that has a $3.5 million club buyout attached to it.

Even if Thomas had declined the option, the White Sox could have held onto him by exercising an $8 million option. The White Sox also have options of $11 million in 2005 and $12 million in 2006.

``Frank is certainly the greatest hitter in the long history of this organization,'' said Kenny Williams, the White Sox's general manager. ``Very much to his credit, Frank rebounded at the plate in 2003, and we are looking forward to another season with having Frank as one of the more potent offensive players in the American League.''

Thomas hit .267, his highest average since 2000, with 42 homers and 105 RBIs this season. He also hit his 400th career homer and collected his 2,000th hit.


Updated on Thursday, Oct 30, 2003 2:51 pm EST


Yes doctor, I am sick.
Sick of those who are spineless.
Sick of those who feel self-entitled.
Sick of those who are hypocrites.
Yes doctor, an army is forming.
Yes doctor, there will be a war.
Yes doctor, there will be blood.....
Madison
Mod in Retirement
Mod in Retirement

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ExecutiveEditorCafeholicFantasy ExpertCafe WriterCafe RankerMock(ing) DrafterEagle EyeCafe SpotterInnovative MemberCafe MusketeerPick 3 ChampionMatchup Meltdown SurvivorLucky Ladders Weekly Winner
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(Past Year: 1)
Joined: 29 Apr 2003
Home Cafe: Baseball
Location: Taking Souls...


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