Add the White Sox to the list of teams people will call quitters since they effectively “threw in the towel” by dealing Jim Thome and Jose Contreras last night. The White Sox are six games back of first place Detroit and two and a half back of second place Minnesota. To date they’ve played a little under .500 ball and with 30 games remaining, CoolStandings has their playoff odds at 6%. That is to say, for every 1 million simulations, the White Sox make the playoffs 60,000 times while they miss out the other 940,000 tries
You don’t have to run simulations to understand the chances weren’t good anyways. The Tigers have 32 games remaining, and if they simply played .500 ball Chicago would have to go 22-8 to tie Detroit for first. That’s without taking Minnesota into account. If Detroit plays like they have all season, at a .531 clip, then Chicago has to go 23-7 to tie, 24-6 to win and this is again without taking Minnesota into account.
The bigger offense here might be missing out on a chance to land draft picks or potentially costing them a pick. Per Eddie Bajek’s latest Elias rankings, Jim Thome is a Type-A while Jose Contreras appears to be on the outside looking in on Type-B status. Maybe the Dodgers have agreed against offering Thome arbitration, but otherwise if the White Sox plan to bring the slugger back into the fold next season, it would cost them – or whoever signs him, for that matter – a draft pick.
The draft pick angle should be focused on more while the playoff potential angle is focused on less. Either way, I don’t think Kenny Williams should take much heat for doing what amounts to a favor for Thome.