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D’Backs eyeing free agent first baseman Paul Konerko

Oct 31, 2010, 11:56 AM EDT

konerko waves goodbye

The free agent market will be fairly thin this winter, but that doesn’t mean the rumors won’t be flying.

Paul Konerko, a free agent, posted a stellar .312/.393/.584 batting line in 2010 with 39 home runs and 111 RBI.  The on-base and slugging percentages were career highs.

The White Sox never engaged in talks toward an extension with Konerko during the season, which indicates that they are prepared to let him walk.  And there will be no shortage of teams looking for a solid power bat.  In fact, one club has already thrown its hat in the ring.

Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago reports that the Diamondbacks have expressed interest in the free agent and have made signing him an “offseason priority.”

Konerko grew up in Scottsdale, Arizona and still makes his home there.  Turning 35 in March, he might be attracted by the idea of settling down near his home.  And playing in the hitting-friendly confines of Chase Field should suit him well.

If the D’Backs do sign Konerko, it probably means that Adam LaRoche will not be brought back.  He has a $7.5 million mutual option for 2011 that comes with a $1.5 million buyout.

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