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Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Rumors intensify of White Sox-Thome claim

By Doug Padilla

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The speculation that the Chicago White Sox have claimed Jim Thome off trade waivers only intensified Wednesday, a day after manager Ozzie Guillen said he would fully support the slugger’s possible acquisition.

Thome
Jim Thome could be the left-handed bat the White Sox are looking for.
Rumors are also rampant that the White Sox have possibly claimed Thome’s Minnesota Twins teammate Jason Kubel.

“I’d love to add Jim Thome back to be honest with you,” Guillen said Tuesday. “A lot of people think I don’t want Jimmy.”

Guillen was referring to the decision before the 2010 season to not sign Thome and go with a team quicker on the base paths that struck out less.

The possible claim on Thome and Kubel makes sense because the White Sox could use some run production from the left side of the plate in the wake of Adam Dunn’s disappointing season. Thome and Kubel are left-handed hitters.

But what also plays into the move for the White Sox is that a claim on both would also block the Cleveland Indians from claiming either one of them. The division-rival Indians are in search of a left-handed run producer in the wake of the foot strain that put Travis Hafner on the disabled list.

If multiple teams from the same league make a claim on a player, the team that wins the claim is the one with the worst record.

The White Sox and Twins would now have 48 hours to work out a possible deal, if news of the waiver claims is true. The Twins also have the option of pulling one or both players off waivers and keeping them on their roster if they don’t see a good trade fit.

Just because a player is placed on trade waivers doesn’t mean their current team is intent on dealing them. For example, CBSSports.com is reporting the White Sox put John Danks, Paul Konerko, Matt Thornton and Gavin Floyd all on trade waivers Wednesday.

It's just all part of the madness of trade waiver season that leads up until the last day of August, which is the day teams need to submit a roster of players eligible to play in the postseason.

So far, there is no confirmation from the White Sox that they have claimed either Thome or Kubel.

If the White Sox end up with one or both players, the question becomes who they would replace on the roster. Major league rosters are currently at 25 players, but can be expanded up to 40 players on Sept. 1.