I was on vacation when the story first broke about Frank being out for the year, and quite possibly done forever, so we haven't really touched on it here. I don't like writing about bad news, which probably has something to do with it also.
Frank's contract has an option for next year at $10M, but that's too much for the Sox to risk on a player who hasn't played a full season in 2 years. There is a buyout of $3.5M which, according to the Daily Southtown and an unnamed player, the Sox plan on excersizing.
However, a Sox player told the Daily Southtown on Monday the club was planning to exercise the buyout clause even before Thomas went down with the injury.
"From what I understand, Frank was already telling us that he wouldn't be brought back (next year)," the player said.
That they were planning on buying him out even before he went down for the season, tells me that they thought they could resign Frank for under $6.5M next season. Now that he's facing another substantial rehab, I can't see the Sox risking any more than a couple Million on Frank's health once again.
In other words, it's looking more and more like we've seen the last game Frank Thomas will ever play in a White Sox uniform. White Sox head trainer Herm Scheider hesitated to call it a career threatening injury, but the writing is on the wall.
"I can't just come out and say it's career-threatening, but I can come out and say that there are a lot of arthritic changes, that it's not going to get better," Schneider said. "It's a matter of doing the best you can with what you got. It could be difficult for him, you know?
"Career-threatening, that's a hard thing to say, because people find ways to work around things. But can it impair his career? Yes, it has a chance to impair it. How much, that's going to be up to him. It's going to be up to him how much he can tolerate discomfort-wise."