SoxInsider Report: 11/4/2003

RF Magglio Ordonez is going to make $14 million next season, and considering the Sox are looking to keep the payroll near the $60 million mark in 2004, there have been rumors that White Sox GM Ken Williams is looking to move Ordonez. Williams addressed that point last week.

"I'm not going to comment on something that's out there," Williams said. "If I tell you it's not true, and the next time I don't say anything, it doesn't help me to give a story life."

I know people want to know, but sitting here today, I will take a pass on talking about that. I will say this: You're talking to a big fan of Magglio Ordonez."

RHP Bartolo Colon reportedly turned down the Sox' final offer for three years, $36 million, so Williams said that the offer no longer sits on the table.

Williams will now turn his attention to signing another free agent starting pitcher, with Sidney Ponson being a strong possibility.

DH/1B Frank Thomas chose to exercise his $6 million option for next season, and the veteran slugger will be back on the South Side for his 15th year.

If Thomas hadn't exercised the option, the club would then have had the option at $8 million for 2004. The speculation was that the White Sox would have passed on that, thus making Thomas a free agent.

"After weighing our options, we felt the best decision for Frank was to return to the White Sox," Thomas' agent, Arn Tellem, said.

"I know Frank would like nothing better than to help the White Sox win a World Series title," Tellem added. Thomas hit 42 homers for the Sox last season and 105 RBI.

"It is what it is. He's here, he's back," Williams later commented on Thomas' decision to exercise his option at $6 million and return to the club for next season.

"The production he had was outstanding. He'll be the first to tell you he's a guy in baseball history that's a rare combination of power, average, run production... anyone would love to have that in their lineup," he added.

With Thomas in for next season after exercising his $6 million option, the Sox have $20 million tied up in Thomas and OF Magglio Ordonez alone.

Considering they want to keep the payroll near the $60 million mark and still have four arbitration-eligible players and five free agents that they want to sign, Williams will need a miracle to pull it all off.

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