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  1. I think the most amazing thing about Thornton is that he has managed to lower his FIP each of the past 5 seasons. That’s just ridiculous.

    Comment by Josh — March 7, 2011 @ 9:23 am

  2. When I heard the terms of this deal my jaw hit the floor. Considering the overpaying KW has done on his bullpen in recent years (Dotel, Linestink, and this year Crain), it really astounds me that the Sox were able to sign the best lefty middle reliever in baseball at such favorable terms. Big thumbs up KW.

    As far as his role, I would like to see Thornton to be used the way he has since arriving with the Sox. The idea of locking him in as “the 9th inning guy” is such a waste.

    Comment by Sox27 — March 7, 2011 @ 9:58 am

  3. Unless you’re the Yankees, isn’t (essentially) 3 years at $6 per the going rate for good middle relievers? This is about what I’d expect.

    Comment by the fume — March 7, 2011 @ 10:10 am

  4. I think when you’ve seen Jesse Crain, Matt Guerrier, and a few other guys getting deals slightly below that while not nearly being as effective, it’s interesting. I think so anyway.

    Comment by Sox27 — March 7, 2011 @ 10:30 am

  5. 1) it’s only 2 years, not 3 years
    2) thornton’s not a “good middle reliever” – he’s an elite reliever, definitely top ten in the game. closers tend to be getting ~10M per year on multi-year deals, so this is a solid discount for the white sox.

    Comment by Jono411 — March 7, 2011 @ 10:33 am

  6. “closers tend to be getting ~10M per year on multi-year deals, so this is a solid discount for the white sox.”

    That’s another reason I love the deal for the Sox. If Thornton winds up being the closer this season, he would’ve been able to demand a much higher deal on the free agent market. The Sox struck before he accumulated saves, which teams will pay for on the market.

    Comment by Chris Cwik — March 7, 2011 @ 10:44 am

  7. Speaking of upwards trends, his strikeout rates:

    2006: 8.17 K/9
    2007: 8.79 K/9
    2008: 10.29 K/9
    2009: 10.82 K/9
    2010: 12.02 K/9

    Not that I expect him to post Marmollian numbers at ages 34-35. Still, pretty a-freaking-mazing.

    Comment by Albert Lyu — March 7, 2011 @ 10:52 am

  8. Seriously, even with all the organizational wackiness, are there any teams outside of Toronto, Atlanta, Boston and the Bronx that wouldn’t immediately take Kenny Williams as their GM?

    Comment by Big Jgke — March 7, 2011 @ 10:55 am

  9. rays, twins, A’s, probably some others…

    but yea i get your point. it seems that so many of williams moves get criticized by the sabermetrics community (this extension aside), yet his teams keep doing well. there’s gotta be something to that.

    Comment by Jono411 — March 7, 2011 @ 11:20 am

  10. Right, an incomplete list no doubt, but for the nerd love the Oakland front office has gotten following the release of the book they wrote about themselves, I would rather have Williams than Beane. Easy.

    Comment by Big Jgke — March 7, 2011 @ 1:49 pm

  11. Billy Beane is not the same person as Michael Lewis.

    Comment by Stringer Bell — March 7, 2011 @ 2:34 pm

  12. Since the juicers (Giambi, Tejada and I believe Chavez to be one) left Oakland along with the Big 3, what have the A’s done? Yet, everyone still loves Beane.

    Comment by Sox27 — March 7, 2011 @ 4:41 pm

  13. Plenty. Over the last 5 years he’s spent about 105 million a year to average just under 84 wins. There’s nothing impressive about that. Yes, having the WS trophy is impressive, no doubt about it, but he’s been solidly mediocre since then. Not screwing up an extension for Thornton doesn’t make him a genius.

    Comment by Steve — March 7, 2011 @ 7:19 pm

  14. Thank God someone else sees Beane for the fraud he is.

    Comment by tonysoprano — March 7, 2011 @ 9:47 pm

  15. If Thornton’s contract allows him to, you hope for him to be a strong trade piece when the time comes for Kenny to scavenge through the league’s fallen first round pitching talents as the rotation depletes.

    In the next 2 years, Kenny’s GM weaknesses might finally become prominent. The post July 2012 state of the organization could begin plummeting towards Houston Astros territory… It’s going to take some genius creativity to fix things up…

    Comment by baty — March 8, 2011 @ 12:32 am

  16. you are kind of cherry picking five years. he’s been gm for ten . if you include six years the average jumps to 86. any educated fan knows wins/loss has much to do with divisional strength, luck, and a host of other things. i haven’t taken the time to look at the white sox Pythagorean but i imagine that would shed more light on their actual performance. Also, a gm makes decisions as to who is on the field, but can’t be held responsible for managerial gaffes or poor player performance. kenny makes big moves that have generally payed off.

    Comment by james k — March 8, 2011 @ 2:16 am

  17. The point was that he’s still living off reputation despite doing very little since winning the WS. The White Sox have actually been hitting their Pythagorean W-L almost exactly. 2010 was the first year since 2005 that they there was any difference, according to B-ref. Kenny makes big moves alright, he spends a ton of money, but the results since the WS have been mediocre. Since we’re comparing him to St. Beane, he’s spent an extra 225 million or so over the last 5 years to get 4 more wins per year, the exact same number of playoff appearances, and 2 fewer playoff wins. Congratulations on being mini-Cashman.

    Comment by Steve — March 8, 2011 @ 9:32 am

  18. I’ve never posted here before, but Sox27 is an idiot and I felt it needed to be said.

    KW is solid, by the way. The Nick Swisher thing was weird, but he’s an asset for Chicago and not a problem.

    Comment by Chad — March 8, 2011 @ 10:15 am

  19. Why the hate for Sox27? His first comment was spot-on correct. His second was accurate enough. His third was unrelated to the topic (Thornton/Sox) and a bit incoherent, but that much bile for him over that?

    I’m guessing he’s posted elsewhere here to earn your ire?

    I love this deal, as an aside. He’s seemed relatively injury-free with no decline in performance. His gameplan is dead simple: locate a fastball very well again and again and again, and it’s within his means.

    Good buy-low here, I would have expected $7.5-8MM per year, Dotel type money.

    Comment by Pander — March 8, 2011 @ 11:42 am

  20. Hey Chad, let’s see one of your intelligent posts. You’re probably a member of the fangraphs community that’s never stepped on a baseball field, yet you critique from your mom’s basement. Get a clue!

    Comment by Sox27 — March 8, 2011 @ 1:05 pm

  21. Pander, thankfully you have a fully functioning brain

    Comment by Sox27 — March 8, 2011 @ 1:06 pm

  22. wow sox27, you’re a douche. when did you get out of prison?

    Comment by IHateMorons — March 8, 2011 @ 7:21 pm

  23. Good one, which one of your literate friends typed this for you?

    Comment by Sox27 — March 9, 2011 @ 9:12 am

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