Paul Konerko likes Chicago. He likes it so much in fact that he wants to be back on the Southside next year according to a report in the USA TODAY. Konerko is in the final year of a deal that is paying him $13.5 million (partially deferred through 2020), but he will have to settle for far less than that if he dreams of playing at US Cellular Field in 2014.
Make no mistake about it, GM Rick Hahn realizes it is time to start dismantling a team that isn’t going to win an AL Central crown. That’s bad news for a guy like Konerko who will be 38 before next season. The signs of his fall from grace are already evident. This season “The Captain” has been limited to just 105 games (49 of them at DH) and carries a .244 average/.672 OPS. Father Time seems to finally be catching up with the former six-time All-Star.
But do the White Sox have anyone behind him to fill-in? Adam Dunn is certainly a contender and fully capable. Yet, Hahn would be a fool not to trade the lefty slugger should someone knock on his door this winter. At the minor league level, many see Keon Barnum as the guy to one day man first base. Problem is, he’s currently at Low-A Kannapolis and not ready for a major league stint.
That could give Konerko some bargaining power. Add to that the fact he’s a fan favorite and a member of the 2005 championship team and maybe he can sneak out a one-year deal. For my time and money, I’d look elsewhere. Nostalgia is fun, building for the future is better.
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