Paul Konerko Rumors
"Competing execs" think Paul Konerko will ultimately re-sign with the White Sox for around $13MM per season, tweets Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated. Konerko's close relationship with owner Jerry Reinsdorf is cited as a main factor.
The Cubs, Orioles and Rangers have all been mentioned as suitors for Konerko this winter, and the Orioles have made Konerko an offer. Still, moving elsewhere could be a tough call for Konerko given his ties to the White Sox and the fact that the team seems to be doing all it can to find payroll space for him. Adam Dunn and A.J. Pierzynski deferred money from their contracts just so the Sox could have more cash available in 2011 to re-sign Konerko. "They literally put their money where their mouth is so we can put a better offer on the table for Paulie," GM Kenny Williams told MLB.com's Scott Merkin.
- The White Sox discussed Prince Fielder with the Brewers before completing the Dunn deal, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Rosenthal explains how the shortage of available pitching could make it difficult for the Brewers to acquire high caliber young arms in a potential Fielder trade.
- Dunn says he'll DH or play any position, according to Scott Reifert of the White Sox (on Twitter).
- Williams says A.J. Pierzynski and Dunn will accept deferred payment on their new deals to help the White Sox make Paul Konerko a strong offer, Reifert notes on Twitter. Konerko is meeting with the White Sox on Monday, tweets USA Today's Bob Nightengale.
The White Sox added one of the game's most consistent sluggers today, locking Adam Dunn up to a four-year $56MM deal. The team has officially announced the deal.
Dunn settled for a two-year, $20MM deal when he last hit free agency, but his representation at Legacy Sports was aggressive this time, setting their client up with the biggest contract so far this offseason and nearly tripling the value of Dunn's previous deal.
Dunn has hit 38 or more homers in each of the past seven seasons. He boasts a career .250/.381/.521 line with 354 home runs in ten seasons. Few players are as durable as the 31-year-old, who has appeared in 150 or more games in eight of nine seasons since becoming a regular.
It's not clear how often Dunn will play in the field, but that likely depends on Chicago's pursuit of free agent first baseman Paul Konerko. Dunn appeared reluctant to be a full-time DH despite criticisms of his defensive play.
The Nationals, who discussed extensions with the slugger all season long, will obtain a supplementary first rounder plus Chicago's 23rd overall pick in next year's draft. Adam LaRoche and Carlos Pena are Washington's most likely first base targets, according to ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick (on Twitter).
Crasnick reported that the White Sox had serious interest in Dunn, Jon Heyman of SI.com reported that the sides were closing in on a deal and Mike DiGiovanna of the LA Times reported the terms of the contract. Peter Gammons of MLB Network and Bob Nightengale of USA Today also reported elements of the story on Twitter.
Ben Nicholson-Smith contributed to this post.
The Angels are seen as the favorites to sign Carl Crawford and we know the Red Sox met with him and his representatives, but it looks like at least one more American League team has strong interest in the left fielder. ESPN.com's Buster Olney has the details:
- The Yankees are very much engaged in conversations with Crawford, though it's unclear whether they have the flexibility to spend on him and Cliff Lee (Twitter links). The Yankees plan to set up a meeting with Crawford, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (Twitter link).
- The A's are targeting Lance Berkman enthusiastically, but they haven't started talking salary with him (Twitter link).
- The White Sox still appear to be the favorites to sign Paul Konerko, Olney writes. The Orioles and Cubs appear to be in on the first baseman, but the Diamondbacks may no longer be bidding for him.
- Olney says the Nationals missed out on a chance to extend Adam Dunn or recoup more value for him.
- Olney boldly predicts that the Yankees will reach an agreement with Derek Jeter today.
Yesterday we heard that the Orioles offered Paul Konerko a contract. Today, a few more teams have been linked to the slugging first baseman. Here's the latest, as the White Sox agree to sign another slugger:
- White Sox GM Kenny Williams confirmed to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times that the team could re-sign Konerko, even after locking up Adam Dunn (Twitter link).
- The Diamondbacks appear to be out of the Konerko sweepstakes, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter).
- The White Sox want to keep Konerko, even though they're about to sign Dunn, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today (on Twitter).
- Jon Heyman of SI.com hears that the Cubs are in on Konerko (Twitter link).
- Earlier today the D'Backs appeared to be in the early stages of negotiations with Konerko, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (on Twitter).
- Konerko's agent, Craig Landis, told Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that he expects to speak to the White Sox at next week's Winter Meetings. The D'Backs consider Konerko "out of reach," according to Rosenthal, who notes that the White Sox may be able to afford Konerko and Dunn.
- Keep in mind that Konerko will cost a draft pick since he turned down an offer of arbitration from the White Sox.
The Orioles have made Paul Konerko a "significant offer," according to Jim Bowden of Sirius XM Radio (on Twitter). O's President of baseball operations Andy MacPhail said last week that the team was disappointed to have missed out on Victor Martinez despite offering a competitive deal. MacPhail said that the Orioles are "looking at other options."
Konerko, who hit 39 homers and posted a .312/.393/.584 line last year, would be a fit in Baltimore, where he could play first and hit in the middle of Buck Showalter's lineup. He'll cost a draft pick since he turned down an offer of arbitration from the White Sox, but Baltimore's first rounder is protected.
Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports that the Orioles have offered contracts to multiple free agents this week.
23 American League free agents were offered arbitration on November 23rd. Four of those - Joaquin Benoit, John Buck, Victor Martinez, and Javier Vazquez - already have new contract agreements. Current free agent Kevin Gregg has chosen to decline. The remaining 18 AL free agents offered arbitration will have their decisions noted here and in our tracker.
- Cliff Lee (A) declined the Rangers' offer, as expected.
- Miguel Olivo will decline the Blue Jays' offer, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (on Twitter). Jason Frasor (A) will accept the team's offer, according to Mike Wilner of the FAN 590. Scott Downs (A) will decline the Blue Jays' offer, reports Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported earlier that Jason Frasor would either sign a multiyear deal or accept arb (Twitter link).
- Adrian Beltre will decline arbitration from the Red Sox, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter). Felipe Lopez (B) will also decline an offer of arbitration, reports WEEI's Rob Bradford.
- Carl Pavano (A) has officially turned down arbitration, according to Newsday's Ken Davidoff (on Twitter). Orlando Hudson (B) will decline the Twins' offer of arbitration, tweets SI's Jon Heyman. Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune tweets of "strong indications" Jesse Crain (B) will also decline.
- A source tells Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times that Paul Konerko (A) will decline arbitration (Twitter link). J.J. Putz (B) declined arbitration from the White Sox, according to MLB.com's Scott Merkin (on Twitter).
- Chad Qualls (B) and Carl Crawford (A) have declined arbitration, according to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times (on Twitter). Grant Balfour (A) turned down arbitration, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter). As anticipated, Randy Choate (B) declined the Rays' offer, according to Newsday's Ken Davidoff. ESPN's Buster Olney predicted the decision earlier today. Rafael Soriano (A) will decline the Rays' arbitration offer, tweets SI's Jon Heyman. Brad Hawpe (B) will decline the Rays' offer as well, tweets SI's Jon Heyman.
- Frank Francisco (A) will accept the Rangers' offer, according to MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan.
On this date back in 1974, Catfish Hunter met with Oakland A's owner Charles Finley and Peter Seitz of the American Arbitration Association in New York after the team failed to make a $50,000 payment into a long-term annuity fund. The right-hander claimed that his contract had been violated, and Seitz eventually ruled in his favor. Hunter became the first big name free agent in baseball history, later signing a five-year, $3.5MM contract with the Yankees that made him the highest-paid player in baseball history.
Here's a helping of links that go well with Thanksgiving leftovers...
- In the spirit of the holiday, Wahoo Blues lists ten things Indians fans have to be thankful for.
- Bucs Dugout lists some Rule 5 Draft possibilities for the Pirates.
- Baseball Time In Arlington examines the Paul Konerko option for the Rangers.
- Phillies Nation looks at Matt Thornton as a potential trade target for Philadelphia.
- We Should Be GMs wonders how much Derek Jeter is worth.
- Pine Tar And Pocket Protectors believes Justin Upton should be traded.
- The Blue Jay Hunter wants to see Toronto sign Chad Qualls to be their closer.
- Examiner tries to figure out what would constitute a fair return for Gavin Floyd.
- Sports of Boston explains why Cliff Lee should sign with the Red Sox.
- Meanwhile, The Ghost of Moonlight Graham tries to figure out who will catch for Boston in 2011.
- Halos Heaven dispels the Adrian Beltre contract year myth.
- A Diehard Cubs Fan Speaks Out and wonders if the Cubs should shift Starlin Castro to second base.
- SPANdemonium lists every player eligible for the upcoming Rule 5 Draft.
If you have a suggestion for this feature, Mike can be reached here.
The Yankees’ “lack of tact” in their negotiations with Derek Jeter isn’t helping them, writes Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Here are Rosenthal's latest updates on the Yankees and other teams around the league:
- Even Cliff Lee’s representatives would be surprised if the left-hander received a seven-year offer like C.C. Sabathia did.
- The Rangers were in on Victor Martinez “big,” according to Rosenthal.
- The Rangers are talking to Vladimir Guerrero and showing interest in Paul Konerko. The White Sox offered the first baseman arbitration, so it will cost a top pick to sign him.
- The Dodgers showed serious interest in Aubrey Huff before he re-signed with the Giants, according to Rosenthal.
- The Phillies discussed the idea of bringing Pat Burrell back to Philadelphia, but decided against it.
- Type B free agent Orlando Hudson almost certainly agreed in advance to reject the Twins’ offer of arbitration, Rosenthal says. The Twins agreed not to offer the second baseman arbitration if he was a Type A free agent, so Hudson may have agreed not to accept if he ended up a Type B.
- The Marlins have between $3-8MM to spend, depending on which one of Rosenthal’s sources you ask.
- Eric Hinske is close to deciding between the Braves and Brewers, who have both offered him contracts.
10 American League teams have free agent arbitration offer decisions to make, and we'll group them in this post. For a fantastic customizable chart with all 65 Type A/B free agents and their decisions in real-time, click here.
- The Blue Jays offered arbitration to Scott Downs (A) Jason Frasor (A) Kevin Gregg (B) Miguel Olivo (B), according to MLB.com's Gregor Chisolm (on Twitter).
- The Twins offered arbitration to Carl Pavano (A), Jesse Crain (B) and Orlando Hudson (B) and declined to offer arbitration to Matt Guerrier (A), Brian Fuentes (B) and Jon Rauch (B), according to Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune (on Twitter).
- The Rays offered arbitration to Grant Balfour (A), Carl Crawford (A), Rafael Soriano (A), Randy Choate (B), Brad Hawpe (B) and Chad Qualls (B), according to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times. They did not offer Dan Wheeler (A) or Carlos Pena (B) arbitration. It seems possible that Hawpe has agreed in advance to turn down arbitration.
- The Orioles won't offer arbitration to Koji Uehara (B) or Kevin Millwood (B), according to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter links).
- The Angels declined to offer Hideki Matsui (B) arbitration, the team announced.
- The Rangers offered arbitration to Cliff Lee (A) and Frank Francisco (A), but not to Vladimir Guerrero (A) and Bengie Molina (A), according to MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan.
- The Yankees will offer arbitration to Javier Vazquez (B), but not to any of their other free agents, according to Ken Davidoff of Newsday on Twitter. Andy Pettitte (A), Derek Jeter (A), Mariano Rivera (A), Lance Berkman (B) and Kerry Wood (B) were the team's other ranked free agents. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports first reported that the Yankees would offer Vazquez arbitration and noted that the right-hander has agreed to reject the offer, a common gentleman's agreement that can take place with Type B free agents. Marc Carig of the Newark Star-Ledger first reported on Twitter that the Yankees would not offer Jeter arbitration.
- The Red Sox offered arbitration to Adrian Beltre (A), Victor Martinez (A) and Felipe Lopez (B), but not to Mike Lowell (B) or Jason Varitek (B), according to the team.
- The White Sox offered arbitration to Paul Konerko (A) and J.J. Putz (B), but not to A.J. Pierzynski (A) or Manny Ramirez (A) according to the team (on Twitter).
- As expected, the Tigers announced that they will not offer arbitration to any of their free agents, including Scott Boras clients Magglio Ordonez (A), Johnny Damon (B), and Gerald Laird (B).