The White Sox sent designated hitter Jim Thome to the Dodgers last night, paying part of his remaining $2.4MM salary and receiving 26 year-old High A shortstop Justin Fuller ("just a player," according to Mark Gonzales' Dodgers source). Thome is hitting .249/.372/.493 in 417 plate appearances on the season.
The Sox are in third place in the AL Central, six games back (they've lost eight of their last nine). Baseball Prospectus puts Chicago's playoff chances at about 5.6%. Sox fans: would you have preferred to see Ken Williams focus on that 1 in 18 chance, and retain Thome? On to our links…
- In this ESPN story, Dodgers manager Joe Torre wouldn't rule out the idea of using Thome at first base occasionally. But GM Ned Colletti rejected the notion, and said Thome suggested it'd have to be an emergency situation. So Thome will mostly be a pinch-hitter, though he could DH if the Dodgers reach the World Series.
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports says Williams "shifted from buyer to seller in record time," given the recent acquisitions of Jake Peavy and Alex Rios. The Sox have Peavy through 2012 and Rios through 2014. Rosenthal also praises Colletti's many trade improvements (Thome, George Sherrill, Jon Garland, Ron Belliard), again done on a limited budget.
- Rick Morrissey of the Chicago Tribune thinks Williams threw in the towel too early.
- Sox Machine runs through many interesting implications of the trade, including the chance to get a good look at Tyler Flowers. South Side Sox wonders if the good vibes could compel Thome to re-sign for 2010. Both blogs gripe about Chicago's July 7th Brandon Allen–Tony Pena deal.
- Thome projected as a Type A free agent in the American League; we'll get you his NL status later today. It's a moot point, as the Dodgers seem unlikely to offer arbitration.