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03/06/2011 12:26 PM ET
White Sox and Matt Thornton agree to terms on two-year contract extension with club option for 2014
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GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Chicago White Sox and All-Star relief pitcher Matt Thornton have agreed to terms on a two-year, $12-million contract extension which includes a club option for the 2014 season.

Under terms of the deal, the left-handed Thornton will receive $5.5 million each in 2012 and 2013. The White Sox hold a $6-million option for the 2014 season, which includes a $1-million buyout. Thornton, 34, will earn a base salary of $3 million in 2011 as per the terms of the three-year contract extension (with club options for 2010-11) he signed with the Sox on April 1, 2007.

Thornton was named to his first American League All-Star Team in 2010, going 5-4 with a 2.67 ERA (18 ER/60.2 IP), career-high eight saves and 81 strikeouts in 61 relief appearances.

Thornton led all AL relievers in strikeouts per 9.0 IP (12.02), strikeouts and inherited runners scored percentage (12.9), ranked eighth in strikeout-to-walk ratio (4.05) and holds (21) and ninth in opponents average (.191). He limited left-handers to a .175 (17-97) average with 44 strikeouts, and became the first Sox reliever to top the AL in strikeouts since Keith Foulke in 1999.

The 6-foot-6, 235-pound Thornton is 26-23 with a 3.68 ERA (158 ER/400.1 IP) and 436 strikeouts in 410 games (one start) over seven major-league seasons with Seattle (2004-05) and Chicago (2006-).

Along with Pedro Feliciano, Matt Guerrier and Arthur Rhodes, Thornton is one of four relievers to record at least 20 holds in each of the last three seasons, going 16-10 with a 2.70 ERA (60 ER/200.1 IP), 245 strikeouts and 65 holds in that span. Thornton is the White Sox all-time leader with 100 holds and ranks fifth with 336 relief appearances.

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