Braves Could Add White Sox Reliever Thornton In Trade

SEATTLE, WA - AUGUST 27: Matt Thornton #37 of the Chicago White Sox delivers a pitch during a game against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on August 27, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. The White Sox won the game 9-3. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

The latest from the Baseball Winter Meetings brings us this nugget about the Atlanta Braves trying to get in on the Chicago White Sox supposed fire sale, currently underway. This Chicago Sun-Times ChiSox beat writer has the scoop.

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Matt Thornton is a very solid reliever, and candidate for setup man, from the White Sox. He's a lefty, but like Venters and EOF, Thornton can get out both righties (.231 career BAA) and lefties (.229 career BAA). He's also done some closing of games. He's proven to be durable and pretty darn reliable year after year. He got off to a rough start last season, but was able to right the ship and put together another solid season.

The White Sox want prospects in return, so the Braves could deal from their still-excellent depth of pitching prospects while not giving up any of their top guys. Thornton is signed respectably for the next two season at $5.5 million each year, with a $6 million team option for 2014. That seems expensive for the Braves, but like they did with Scott Linebrink last year, the Braves may be able to get Chicago to pick up some of the remaining salary (especially for 2012) in return for a better prospect.

By the way, the prospect we traded to Chicago for Linebrink, Kyle Coefield, became a minor league free agent this off-season and signed with the Pirates.

UPDATE

David O'Brien buzz-kills the Thornton rumor pretty quickly, though not definitively:

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There could be several hang-ups here -- money that Chicago is willing to send along, and prospect they want in return. Of course, he just tweeted this:

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"That's so bogus, man!" Oh well, fun while it lasted, all 30 minutes.

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