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White Sox Trade for Thome

By Benjy Lipsman in News on Nov 23, 2005 9:30PM

2005_11_sports_sox_thome.jpgWhite Sox GM Kenny Williams pulled off a blockbuster trade Wednesday afternoon, sending center fielder Aaron Rowand to the Philadelphia Phillies in return for first baseman Jim Thome.

The White Sox had a glut of outfielders, with Brian Anderson, Joe Borchard and others stuck in the minors behind Rowand, Scott Podsednik and Jermaine Dye. The Phillies faced a similar situation. While Thome was out of the lineup with an injury, Ryan Howard put up numbers that won him Rookie of the Year honors. They didn't need two first baseman and there's no DH in the National League.

The move gives the Sox another power bat in their lineup -- prior to an injury shortened 2005 season, Thome averaged 39 home runs over the previous 10 seasons while driving in more than 100 runs in all but one of those seasons.

Adding the slugger seems to make sense for the White Sox. Should the Sox be unable to re-sign first baseman Paul Konerko, then Thome should at least equal Konerko's production. If they bring Paulie back, then Thome is a big upgrade at DH over Carl Everett.

The big question is how much cash ($22 million?) the Phils are sending along with Thome. He's owed owed $43.5 million over the final three seasons of his deal. That's the kind of money Konerko expects to get in his new deal. Can the Sox afford both Thome and Konerko? Or is this a signal that Konerko won't be back? Let's hope that's not the case. For that kind of money, we'd certainly take the younger, healthier Konerko. However, it's possible that Frank Thomas is the odd man out.