As expected, the White Sox contract negotiations with free agent Paul Konerko have hit a standstill on account of the amount of money being offered per year.
The White Sox are currently offering Konerko a deal for 3 years, worth between $36-39 million. That comes out to $13 million a season for those out there that aren’t too quick with math. If it was any other contract year Konerko would be fine, but with the White Sox giving Adam Dunn a contract worth $14 million a season, it is believe that Konerko feels a bit shorted. With the type of season he had, Konerko feels he deserves at least what Dunn is making if not more.
With that being the case, the White Sox have apparently started to look for replacements in the bullpen and putting Konerko on hold. This move either shows that they are letting Konerko see what he can get before they offer what he wants or they are not willing to spend that much on Konerko and he can either accept the current deal or move onto another team.
When asked about the Konerko negotiations today, White Sox general manager responded to ESPN by saying,
"“Where do negotiations stand? … Still,” Williams said. “I was very hopeful coming down here. I’m less hopeful now."
"“I was hoping it wouldn’t necessarily come down to getting serious with our other options, but we have no choice at this point.”"
At this point, if Konerko decides to sign elsewhere, then the White Sox have no problem looking for a mid-level first baseman to take his place. Adam LaRoche is a name that has been tossed around for quite some time, but the Cubs and a few other teams are also interested in him so who knows how that will work out.
The only thing that is known right now is that whether the money for Konerko goes to Konerko or not, Kenny Williams is going to spend it on the team,
"“Jerry gave me some money and I’m spending it, absolutely,” Williams said. “I think it’s safe for you to assume that anybody that has good stuff, that can pitch a little bit in the back of our bullpen, or even the bridge to get to the back, we’ve probably touched base with. Whomever you’ve heard a rumor on you can go ahead and write it. I won’t deny it.”"
It looks like we are all going to get an idea of where Konerko and the White Sox stand over the next couple days. If Konerko doesn’t sign with the White Sox by the end of the week, I’m going to go out on a limb and say we are going to have a new starting first baseman at the beginning of the 2011 season.