Despite the team’s monster signing of international slugger Jose Dariel Abreu yesterday, the Chicago White Sox say that longtime first baseman Paul Konerko could return next season, after an uncharacteristically weak 2013 season.
General Manager Rick Hahn offered this statement concerning the slugger.
“(We’ll) talk through what Paul is feeling and how he wants to handle his future as well as potentially the role he could conceivably play on the 2014 White Sox. Those conversations haven’t taken place yet and when they do we we’ll handle them the way we have (before) which is open and honestly and internally and not publicly.”
Konerko just finished a three-year, $37.5 million contract with Chicago, and should he return, it would be at a major pay cut. In 2013, the first baseman hit .244 with a career-low 12 home runs and just 54 RBIs. Over his 17 year career, he averaged a .281 clip with 33 homers and 99 RBIS, so last year was clearly a step backwards for the 37 year-old Konerko.
The six-time All-Star ranks second on the White Sox’ all-time home run list, with 434 in his career on the South Side. He trails only Frank Thomas, who hit 448 long balls with the White Sox during an outstanding career.