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Options and Buyouts

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[Press Release]

CHICAGO -- The Chicago White Sox have exercised the 2006 club option on right-handed pitcher Cliff Politte ($1.2 million) and have declined the 2006 club option on designated hitter Carl Everett ($500,000 buyout).

The White Sox also announced that designated hitter Frank Thomas has exercised the 2006 player option ($10 million) in his contract. Under terms of the contract, the White Sox have five days to exercise a buyout of Thomas' player option.

Picking up Politte's option, and declining Everett's, was a no-brainer. Carl was one of the easiest outs in baseball the final 3 months of the season. Politte was one the best relievers in baseball for the entire year.

I expect Thomas to be bought out in the next couple of days. The buyout will cost the Sox $3.5M. The Sox simply can not afford to have a $10M question mark on their payroll. -- I suppose the question will be if Frank will sign an incentive laden deal with the Sox after his contract has been bought out, and how do the Sox structure such a deal?

I know that I want Frank back next season, but I would also be looking at having a backup plan at DH. Erubiel Durazo, something like that.