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White Sox “have no choice” but to pursue other options after Paul Konerko contract talks stall

Dec 7, 2010, 5:42 PM EST

konerko waves goodbye

Paul Konerko re-signing with the White Sox seemed like a near-lock as recently as yesterday, but general manager Ken Williams told reporters this afternoon that contract talks have hit a major snag and may force the team to look elsewhere for a first baseman.

Williams revealed plans to speak to agents for several other first base options, saying “at this point we have no choice” and “you can’t stop the train.”

Previous reports suggested that Konerko was asking for $15 million per season, while the White Sox were hoping to sign him for closer to the $12 million he earned in 2010 and use the money saved on bullpen help.

Arizona and Baltimore have expressed interest in Konerko, but the assumption has been that he’d give Chicago the right to match any offer he receives.

  1. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Dec 7, 2010 at 5:47 PM

    Money may not talk as loudly in PK’s ear as other players out there, but it still must be heard! Bummer for the Saaaax though….

  2. gridassassin - Dec 7, 2010 at 7:54 PM

    It is what it is… while Konerko may be worth $15Mil this year, he won’t be the following two years. If he’s so cocksure about his talent – he’d sign a contract worth $12Mil with incentives if he reaches 30, 35 and 40 HRs and 90, 100 and 110 RBIs.

    The fact of the matter is Konerko REALLY wants to play for a Southern California team or Arizona. Kenny Williams can’t let Konerko hold the Sox hostage – it’s time to explore other opportunities, and then give Konerko a ‘last chance’ to sign with them before moving on.

    It’s a new economy in baseball. Washington and Colorado didn’t get the memo though. ;)

    • handsfour - Dec 8, 2010 at 4:21 AM

      My understanding is that incentives based on “performance” levels such as these are not allowed. “Playing time” incentives/triggers such as ABs and innings are kosher, but not HRs, RBIs, etc.

  3. cjvirnig - Dec 7, 2010 at 9:32 PM

    I’m not entirely sure I buy this rumor. But, I will say this: if Konerko isn’t back in Chicago, the Adam Dunn deal suddenly doesn’t look particularly good because he can be easily pitched around. And on top of that, Dunn already makes the Sox worse defensively and less athletic.

  4. Panda Claus - Dec 8, 2010 at 8:55 AM

    I wanted PK in Baltimore, but that appears unlikely (again). If he doesn’t return to the White Sox then he’s obviously putting a premium on playing near his family (and not just during Spring Training).

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