The White Sox exercised their 2010 option on reliever Matt Thornton, according to MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez. At $2.25MM, it was an easy call for GM Ken Williams. Even if the Sox had declined Thornton's 2010 option, he'd still have been under team control as an arbitration-eligible player. The team also has an option on Thornton's first possible free agent year (2011) for $3MM.
Thornton, a 33-year-old lefty, posted another fine season with a 2.74 ERA, 87 strikeouts, and 20 walks in 72.3 innings. The former first-round pick was acquired by the White Sox for Joe Borchard in March of '06, and he's improved his control drastically since the trade (without sacrificing his 96 mph heater). Thornton is the favorite to close for the White Sox in 2010 if Bobby Jenks is traded.