White Sox Exercise Options On Thornton, Castro

The White Sox exercised their 2011 options on reliever Matt Thornton and catcher Ramon Castro, tweets MLB.com's Scott Merkin.  The Sox also requested release waivers on righty Carlos Torres so he can pursue a job in Asia.

Thornton's $3MM option, which had a $250K buyout, was a given after his dominant 2010 season.  The hard-throwing southpaw posted a 2.67 ERA, 12.0 K/9, and 3.0 BB/9 in 60.6 innings, the only blemish being an August forearm injury.  After Thornton's strong '06 campaign for the Sox, GM Kenny Williams wisely signed him to a three-year deal with club options for 2010 and '11.  Talking to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times, Thornton said he's confident he can close in 2011 if needed.  Many consider Bobby Jenks a non-tender candidate.

Castro had a $1.2MM option with a $200K buyout, so his option was also an easy choice.  In his second season as A.J. Pierzynski's backup he hit .278/.328/.504 with eight home runs in only 128 plate appearances.

Torres, 28, was ranked 16th among White Sox prospects by Baseball America heading into the season.  He repeated Triple A, posting a 3.42 ERA, 7.9 K/9, and 4.0 BB/9 in 160.3 innings.  BA wrote that Torres "profiles as a long reliever/sixth starter."  His repertoire: "a heavy 90-92 fastball and a plus cutter that frustrates lefthanders."  They described him as an organizational favorite for his fearlessness and durability.