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Thomas stays with Chicago
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Old 30 Oct 2003, 04:58 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Thomas stays with Chicago

CHICAGO -- Frank Thomas is staying with the Chicago White Sox.


Thomas said Thursday he will exercise a $6 million contract option for next season rather than test the free-agent market for a second straight year.


"After weighing our options, we felt the best decision for Frank was to return to the White Sox," Arn Tellem, Thomas' agent, said in a statement. "I know Frank would like nothing better than to help the White Sox win a World Series title."


Thomas tested the free agent market for the first time in his career last year after the White Sox invoked a clause in his contract that allowed them to defer most of his $10 million salary.


The two-time AL MVP wound up re-signing with the only team he's ever played for, agreeing to a one-year deal with three mutual options that guaranteed him $22.5 million.


In addition to the $6 million option for next season, he has ones for $8 million in 2005 and $10 million in 2006, a year that has a $3.5 million club buyout attached to it.


Even if Thomas had declined the option, the White Sox could have held onto him by exercising an $8 million option. The White Sox also have options of $11 million in 2005 and $12 million in 2006.


"Frank is certainly the greatest hitter in the long history of this organization," said Kenny Williams, the White Sox's general manager. "Very much to his credit, Frank rebounded at the plate in 2003, and we are looking forward to another season with having Frank as one of the more potent offensive players in the American League."


Thomas hit .267, his highest average since 2000, with 42 homers and 105 RBIs this season. He also hit his 400th career homer and collected his 2,000th hit.

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