Diamondbacks To Pursue Paul Konerko

Long-time White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko went to high school in Scottsdale and still makes his offseason home in the area, and if the Diamondbacks have their way he'll be playing there year-round as well. ESPNChicago.com's Bruce Levine reports Konerko will be an offseason priority for the D-Backs once the free agency period opens in another week or so.

Arizona received good but not great production out of Adam LaRoche in 2010 (.261/.320/.468 with 25 homers), and this report seems to indicate that they will buy out his $7.5MM mutual option for $1.5MM rather than pick it up. Konerko had a monster season, hitting .312/.393/.584 with 39 home runs in 631 plate appearances. New GM Kevin Towers expressed an interest in cutting down on his team's strikeouts, something Konerko would certainly help with; he struck out 62 fewer times than LaRoche in 16 more plate appearances. 

The 34-year-old Konerko told reporters back in September that he could retire if he's unhappy with the way his offseason shakes out, but I'm sure playing close to home will be an interesting option. Konerko has also said that contract length isn't much of a priority because he isn't sure how much longer he wants to play. He just wrapped up five-year deal that paid him $12MM annually. 


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