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2011 Contract Issues: Chicago White Sox

The White Sox face two contractual options after the season:

  • Reliever Matt Thornton has a $3MM club option with a $250K buyout.  This is a good bet to be exercised.
  • Backup catcher Ramon Castro has a $1.2MM club option with a $200K buyout.  He's missed most of the season with a heel injury.

The team's other free agents are earning $26.125MM this year, led by Paul Konerko and A.J. Pierzynski.  If they also let Castro go and we add in buyouts paid to Jermaine Dye and Mike MacDougal, the Sox have nearly $29MM coming off the books.

Increases to players under contract total $11.3MM, with Alex Rios, Juan Pierre, Mark Teahen, and Gavin Floyd getting bumps of at least $2MM.  There are also arbitration cases to consider: Alexei Ramirez goes for the first time, John Danks, Carlos Quentin, and Tony Pena a second, and Bobby Jenks a third.  Technically Ramirez is already under contract for '11, but perhaps he's allowed to choose arbitration if he prefers.  I think Jenks will be non-tendered, meaning another $7.5MM off the books.

Using the above scenarios I think the White Sox would have approximately $15MM to work with if they hold payroll steady.  Keep in mind that's before re-signing any free agents, including 2010 offensive standouts Konerko and Andruw Jones.

Thanks to Cot's Baseball Contracts for the info.

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