For the past few years, there have been rumors that the Chicago White Sox would be willing to trade Matt Thornton. If the White Sox are going to make the trade, perhaps this offseason would be the best time to do it, though I don’t want to see Thornton traded.
Since Thornton arrived to the White Sox via trade in 2006 fans weren’t expecting much. This was a pitcher who hadn’t succeeded with the Seattle Mariners. Pitching Coach Don Cooper was expected to help Thornton out and make him a dominant pitcher. Cooper did just that.
He became a dominant setup man and he was named an All-Star in 2010. However, something happened between 2010 and 2012. Thornton’s ERA jumped from 2.67 to 3.32 in 2011. Then, in 2012, it jumped to 3.46.
Thornton’s struggles might be the first sign of problems since he is getting older. Age can be an issue for pitchers but Thornton’s velocity hasn’t dropped which can be a first sign of problems. There doesn’t seem to be any issues with Thornton’s mechanics as well.
There is nothing wrong with listening to offers for Thornton. If some team wants to blow Kenny Williams away with an offer then the White Sox should consider it. I don’t consider Thornton untouchable like Chris Sale.
I do think that Thornton can come back and succeed. Cooper fixed him before and I’m sure he can fix him again.
I also love the idea of the White Sox having two dominant setup pitchers. Jesse Crain is great as a setup man for righties, and Thornton is good as a lefty. Also, Thornton can be a closer once in a while if needed.
I wouldn’t give up on Thornton just yet and I don’t think the White Sox should either.
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