Thornton glad to get another chance

Matt Thornton had a tough start to 2011, but he's ready to compete for the closer's role again. Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Chicago White Sox reliever Matt Thornton would have been devastated if he had been traded in the offseason.

"It was crazy during the winter, hearing all the rumors," Thornton said Wednesday. "One came from Gavin Floyd's wife's cousin's friend tweeted something that I was being traded to Toronto. How random can it get? That was my favorite one that I heard."

The Sox longest tenured bullpen man is looking forward to his seventh season as an important cog at the back end of games. As to what role he will have is out of his hands. After blowing four saves early in the 2011 season Thornton was removed from the closer's role he inherited when Bobby Jenks left the team.

"Things were definitely not going my way," he said. "At that time I had some pretty poor luck behind me, but at the same time there are things I could have done different. A lot of times after I dug myself a hole I made mistakes after that."

It remains to be seen if he will get another chance as he will be in the running with Jesse Crain and rookie Addison Reed as the closer.

Thornton may have the best stuff for the job, but it's up to new manager Robin Ventura to make a choice.