The Captain is coming back. Paul Konerko agreed to a one-year, $2.5 million deal with the White Sox today after his future with the club was in jeopardy. At 37 and with the signing of Cuban sensation Jose Abreu, Paulie decided that a backup role at first base and DH was better than retirement or starting anew with another club. 2014 will mark his 16th season on the Southside of town.
Konerko had a disappointing go of things last year hitting just .244 in 126 games with a sorry .669 OPS. The power was way down as well. His 12 dingers were the lowest output of his career since he hit 7 with Cincinnati back in 1998. But if things like leadership and clubhouse presence are monetary assets that affect winning, GM Rick Hahn got a bargain.
The decision coming when it did also helps the White Sox as they enter the Winter Meetings next week. The club now has a legitimate right-handed bat on the bench and can put their focus on other areas of need. While they don’t seem inclined to make a big splash, Hahn might be in the market to make a deal for a third baseman. The dream of Curtis Granderson returning seems to be fizzling as rumors have the Mets making a big run at the former University of Illinois-Chicago standout.
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