Last spring Matt Thornton signed a two-year, $12 million extension that hasn’t started yet, but Buster Olney of ESPN.com reports that the White Sox “are trying to move” the longtime setup man.
Thornton got off to a bad start this year, blowing whatever chance he had of becoming the White Sox’s permanent closer, but recovered nicely and ended up with his usual outstanding numbers: 60 innings, 3.32 ERA, 63/21 K/BB ratio.
He’s posted a sub-3.50 ERA in four straight seasons while striking out 10.7 batters per nine innings, yet Olney says the White Sox have been shopping him since July without finding a deal. That suggests either teams are scared off by Thornton being 35 years old or Chicago’s asking price it too high for a reliever owed $12 million even if he’s been an elite setup man.
The Mets have signed catcher Wilson Ramos to a two-year deal, SNY’s Andy Martino reports. The total value of the contract is $19 million, per Fancred’s Jon Heyman.
Ramos, 31, split last season between the Rays and Phillies, putting up one of the best offensive seasons among catchers. In 416 total plate appearances, he hit .306/.358/.487 with 15 home runs and 70 RBI.
Ramos will presumably get the lion’s share of plate appearances behind the plate with Travis d'Arnaud backing him up. Grandal was made a qualifying offer, so the Mets would have had to forfeit a draft pick to sign him. And, of course, Realmuto would have cost prospects. Ramos simply costs money.
The Mets were aggressively pursuing a catching upgrade, having been involved in rumors surrounding J.T. Realmuto and Yasmani Grandal, but ultimately settled on Ramos. New GM Brodie Van Wagenen has made a significant impact on the team already, having also added second baseman Robinson Canó and closer Edwin Díaz from a trade with the Mariners.