Tag:Paul Konerko
Posted on: November 24, 2010 9:38 am
Edited on: November 24, 2010 9:56 am
 

Rangers were on Martinez, interested in Konerko

Konerko Before Victor Martinez chose the Tigers, the Rangers were in on the catcher's services, reports FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal .

This is a bit of a surprise, given the Rangers are expected to stay in the thick of the Cliff Lee bidding until the bitter end (and it probably will turn out bitter with Lee being fitting for pinstripes) and also dealing with bringing back Vladimir Guerrero.

However, it appears that's not stopping the Rangers from trying to upgrade elsewhere -- such as first base, where the club is interested in longtime White Sox Paul Konerko.

Konerko is widely expected to return to Chicago but if he does not, wants to go to a team that is close to his home in Arizona. The Rangers count among these teams, although the Diamondbacks, Dodgers and Angels are closer. Helping Texas is its spring training facility in Arizona.

Konerko would actually be a nice get for the Rangers. He would be going to another hitting-friendly ballpark and the club has both first base and DH wide open, as Mitch Moreland isn't enough to serve as a block at first base.

Coming off a career year, Konerko is sure to get at least a two year deal and could wind up with three when all is said and done.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: November 23, 2010 7:22 pm
 

White Sox decline arbitration on Ramirez

Ramirez The White Sox declined the opportunity to offer arbitration to DH Manny Ramirez, as AOL Fanhouse reports.

Ramirez will likely have to take a low base salary wherever he lands this season. It's possible that's back with the White Sox, but Chicago understandably had no interest in risking Ramirez accepting arbitration and getting a lucrative contract -- if not one over $20 million, his salary in 2010.

Agent Scott Boras said earlier that Ramirez will likely have to follow the path of Vladimir Guerrero in proving himself on a one-year deal before he can be expected to make significant coin again.

In other White Sox news, arbitration has been declined on catcher A.J. Pierzynski, as the team looks prepared to turn over the reins at catcher to Tyler Flowers.

Arbitration was offered to first baseman Paul Konerko and reliever J.J. Putz. Konerko has said some curious things about perhaps moving on from Chicago, but that is not expected to happen. He's likely in line for a two- or three-year deal.

Putz is an interesting case. With a 2010 salary of $3.125 million and an excellent season after a year coming off injury, Putz could be in line for a raise to $5 million in arbitration. It's possible no other team will bite at that salary or offer him more years, so Putz may end up accepting arbitration. If that happens, the White Sox would certainly be happy to bring Putz back to the bullpen and could even make him the closer.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: November 23, 2010 2:19 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 12:29 pm
 

Hamilton runs away with AL MVP

Josh Hamilton wins the American League MVP, and while it wasn't quite the landslide that Joey Votto's NL victory was, it wasn't close, either.

Hamilton collected 22 of the 28 first-place votes, had four second-place votes and two fourth-place votes for a total of 358 points. Detroit's Miguel Cabrera was second, finishing with five first-place votes and 262 overall points. Robinson Cano was third (229) and Toronto's Jose Bautista was fourth with one first-place vote and 165 total points.

Josh Hamilton Here's the final voting
Josh Hamilton, Rangers 358
Miguel Cabrera, Tigers 262
Robinson Cano, Yankees 229
Jose Bautista, Blue Jays 165
Paul Konerko, White Sox, 130
Evan Longoria, Rays 100
Carl Crawford, Rays 98
Joe Mauer, Twins 97
Adrian Beltre, Red Sox 83
Delmon Young, Twins 44
Vladimir Guerrero, Rangers 22
Rafael Soriano, Rays 21
CC Sabathia, Yankees 13
Shin-Soo Choo, Indians 9
Alex Rodriguez, Yankees 8
Felix Hernandez, Mariners 6
Ichiro Suzuki, Mariners 3
Jim Thome, Twins 2
Joakim Soria, Royals 1
Mark Teixeira, Yankees 1

An interesting note, both of the MVPs made their debut for the Reds in 2007, Hamilton on opening day and Votto after rosters expanded in September. The Reds traded Hamilton after the 2007 season to the Rangers for pitcher Edinson Volquez and Daniel Ray Herrera.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.


Posted on: November 11, 2010 12:52 pm
Edited on: November 12, 2010 11:10 am
 

MLB Facts & Rumors American League MVP

The major baseball awards will be announced next week, and the staff at MLB Facts and Rumors is making our choices this week. Today, David, Evan and Trent name their American League Most Valuable Player selections. As with the BBWAA awards, a first-place vote is worth 14 points, second place nine, third place eight and so forth, with 10th place getting one point.

The American League MVP would have been easy if the season ended int he first week of September, but that's when Josh Hamilton crashed into a wall and broke a few ribs, sidelining him for nearly a month. Was that enough to give Detroit's Miguel Cabrera the MVP? Or was Jose Bautista's 54-homer season good enough to win the honor?

AMERICAN LEAGUE MOST VALUABLE PLAYER

Josh Hamilton David Andriesen
1. Josh Hamilton, Rangers
2. Miguel Cabrera, Tigers
3. Adrian Beltre, Red Sox
4. Jose Bautista, Blue Jays
5. Robinson Cano, Yankees
6. Evan Longoria, Rays
7. Paul Konerko, White Sox
8. Carl Crawford, Rays
9. Shin-Soo Choo, Indians
10. Joe Mauer, Twins

Hamilton led all of baseball in batting average and WAR (wins above replacement), while playing center field and dealing with nagging injuries. Yes, he only played 133 regular-season games, but Joe Mauer won last year with 135. Cabrera was scary good, finishing in the top
three in every Triple Crown category, but Hamilton played better with more on the line.

Evan Brunell
1. JoshHamilton, Rangers
2. Miguel Cabrera, Tigers
3. Jose Bautista, Blue Jays
4. Adrian Beltre, Red Sox
5. Robinson Cano, Yankees
6. Evan Longoria, Rays
7. Shin-Soo Choo, Indians
8. Carl Crawford, Rays
9. Paul Konerko, White Sox
10. Daric Barton, Athletics

Hamilton had a sublime season, leading baseball in batting average (.359) and slugging percentage (.633). In counting stats, his 30 HR and 100 RBI don't exactly blow anyone off the map, but don't forget he missed most of September.

C. Trent Rosecrans
1.  Josh Hamilton, Rangers
2. Miguel Cabrera, Tigers
3. Evan Longoria, Rays
4. Robinson Cano, Yankees
5. Jose Bautista, Blue Jays
6. Felix Hernandez, Mariners
7. Adrian Beltre, Red Sox
8. Shin-Soo Choo, Indians
9. Joe Mauer, Twins
10. Paul Konerko, White Sox

Hamilton missed most of September, but it didn't really mean anything to his team, because he was so good until that point that the Rangers had a cushion. There were other players with really good years, Cabrera and Cano among them, but they were still behind what Hamilton's amazing season. I think Longoria sometimes gets overlooked, but he doesn't deserve the nod over Hamilton. I do find it interesting that I'm the only one with a pitcher listed.

MLB Facts and Rumors American League Most Valuable Player
As good a season as Cabrera had, it's a runaway for Hamilton, who was unanimous in our small poll, followed by Miguel Cabrera and Jose Bautista. That said, expect Cabrera and maybe even Cano to garner first-place votes when the BBWAA announces its winners on Nov. 23, but Hamilton will still likely win by a comfortable margin.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.




Posted on: November 10, 2010 10:41 pm
 

Buehrle pessimistic on return of Konerko

Konerko The White Sox may be preparing for life without Paul Konerko, as all signs seem to point to the first baseman's departure.

Starting pitcher Mark Buehrle agrees, saying he believes catcher A.J. Pierzynski, a free agent along with Konerko, is a better bet to return.

"My feeling -- just my feeling -- is I think A.J. has a better chance of coming back than Konerko," Buehrle told ChicagoBreakingSports.com . "I just think in talking to Konerko and hearing some of the stuff he says, I don't know what the deal is going to be with other teams offering him money. If it's going to be a better situation for him and his family, I just have a feeling that A.J. has a better chance of coming back."

Obviously, Buehrle isn't part of a front office so isn't the right person to speak definitively on the subject, but what he says about hearing Konerko on the subject means that Buehrle has heard Konerko waffle on the subject and hint at a departure more than once -- and perhaps more definitively behind the scenes. Konerko has said that he could envision leaving for another team even if the other team offers him less money than Chicago.

However, as ESPNChicago.com reports, the bond Konerko has with owner Jerry Reinsdorf may be too much to overcome.

Konerko is expected to allow Reinsdorf the ability to match any other offer he gets, and the White Sox feel Konerko will be honest and tell them the real terms, the price not having been privately jacked up by Konerko and his advisers.

GM Kenny Williams had nothing but good things to say on Konerko.

"If at the end of the day, even if we are the ones who choose him and he doesn't choose us, you will never hear out of anyone in the White Sox halls a disrespectful word about Paul Konerko because he is that good of a player but also that classy of a man," Williams said.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Category: MLB
Posted on: November 2, 2010 10:27 pm
 

White Sox have plenty on plate

Pierzynski The White Sox may be bracing for life without Paul Konerko, and have plenty of other question marks to address if they hope to reclaim AL Central Division crown in 2011.

A life-long White Sox, Konerko eschewed an offer from the Angels after winning the 2005 World Series to re-up with the ChiSox. However, it sounds like Konerko's time in town could be done, even as Chicago hopes to retain him.

At the end of the season, Konerko said it was possible another team could lure him away from the White Sox even if Chicago makes a better offer, "because of what I'm feeling for myself and everybody involved in that moment," as ChicagoBreakingSports.com recalls.

The hint dropped, everyone caught it.

Fortunately for Chicago, there is no shortage of first-base options on the free-agent market, so they shouldn't have too much trouble replacing Konerko. One of said first-basemans joined the free-agent list Tuesday when the Diamondbacks declined his option -- Adam LaRoche. LaRoche could play very well at The Cell and give the White Sox close to what Konerko would give at significantly less dollars and years.

Meanwhile, the need for a left-handed hitter (LaRoche alert!), closer and catcher also keeps GM Kenny Williams awake at night.

The White Sox have always had interest in Colby Rasmus, who could solve their conundrum of a lefty (and an outfielder to boot, where the ChiSox can add a player) but given he is a young, up-and-coming star with the Cardinals, it will take a pretty penny to excise him -- troubles with Tony La Russa be damned.

More important at this time is the future of Bobby Jenks, as Mark Gonzales of ChicagoBreakingSports.com says "it would be stunning" if the White Sox allowed Jenks to return to the team for his final year of arbitration and pay him $9 million. The Red Sox have their same issue with Jonathan Papelbon, but are expected to retain him. Not so in Chicago, when the team has had frustrations with Jenks in the past.

They could elevate Matt Thornton to closer, if not even push Sergei Santos in the role, but Chicago could also ask J.J. Putz to return to town and entice him with the possibility of winning the closer's job. They could also be players for Rafael Soriano.

Lastly, the White Sox may be ready to see the A.J. Pierzynski (pictured) reign as backstop end. Prospect Tyler Flowers is an option to take over, and the club recently exercised a club option on Raul Castro to be a backup. They will dabble in trades (Mike Napoli?) and free agency (Miguel Olivo, John Buck, Victor Martinez?) to find their next catcher if Flowers is deemed ready.

The White Sox have a chance to make some noise this offseason. They have a good amount of money to spend, a desire to win and a GM that pulls no punches in doing so. Watch this team.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: October 31, 2010 4:37 pm
Edited on: October 31, 2010 8:01 pm
 

Report: Diamondbacks interested in Konerko

Konerko The Arizona Diamondbacks intend to make Paul Konerko an offseason priority, as ESPN Chicago reports.

Konerko, coming off a five-year deal with the White Sox, had a career year at age 34 with 39 home runs and a .312/.393/.584 line in 631 plate appearances.

While Konerko's advanced age comes at a risk (consider his .783 OPS in 2008), he will still be a good signing for a contending team. For a rebuilding team such as the Diamondbacks, however, it doesn't make sense.

Arizona needs to rebuild and brought in GM Kevin Towers to help do so. Going after a pricey, old slugger doesn't quite seem like part of that jigsaw puzzle.

The D-Backs also have first base prospect Brandon Allen, coincidentally acquired from the White Sox in 2009 for reliever Tony Pena. Allen bashed 25 home runs and hit an impressive .261/.405/.528 in 469 PA, but his strikeouts (95) are a concern.

Towers has indicated he plans on cutting back the amount of strikeouts the team puts together, which doesn't bode well for Allen's future in town. However, given he still has three years of league-minimum salary ahead of himself, he could survive a purging that may include third baseman Mark Reynolds and center fielder Chris Young.

If Towers doesn't want Allen at first, he would be far better served to pick up the mutual option on Adam LaRoche to have a slugger in the fold for one more year instead of the however many years and dollars it would take to sign Konerko, an Arizona native.

File this under rumors that don't pass the smell test.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: October 14, 2010 5:31 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 11:25 am
 

R.I.P White Sox: Never a dull moment

As the sports world waits for the crowning of a champion, 22 other teams are busy preparing for spring training. What went wrong for these teams, and what does 2011 hold? MLB Facts and Rumors here at CBS Sports will be answering those questions through all of October. Now: the Chicago White Sox.

There's one thing about these Chicago White Sox, they're never dull. And that was the case again in 2010 as Kenny Williams and Ozzie Guillen had their own reality show and provided more than enough fodder in an ultimately unsuccessful season.

WHAT WENT WRONG

Jake Peavy The vaunted White Sox rotation never quite lived up to its billing -- Jake Peavy (pictured, left) had his search cut in half with injury, and even before that he was medicore, going 7-6 with a 4.63 ERA. Mark Buehrle, John Danks and Gavin Floyd were merely slightly above average.

The team's hole at designated hitter was only magnified by watching their old flame -- the one they dumped -- marry up, as Jim Thome not only hit 25 homers, but he did it for the division-winning Twins. And then there's Manny Ramirez ... but that's an old story.

WHAT WENT RIGHT

The White Sox went on one of the longest hot streaks of the season, a stretch of 25 victories in 30 games to erase Minnesota's 9 1/2-game lead. But after that, the team just couldn't keep it going and saw its own lead in the division disappear.

Paul Konerko (pictured, below) had a fabulous season, hitting .312/.393/.584 with 39 homers and 111 RBI. (If you're talking about Konerko, it's good for him this season came in the final year of his contract.)

HELP ON THE WAY

The White Sox got a glimpse of the future at the end of the season. Brent Morel played 24 games and didn't put up the prettiest numbers at the big league level, but he could be the starting third baseman next season.

More impressive was 2010 first-rounder Chris Sale. The organization expects the left-hander to start. As a reliever -- in an attempt to limit his innings -- Sale showed the potential of a future ace. Fresh out of a small college, he wasn't intimidated by big league hitters, appearing in 21 games and amassing just a 1.93 ERA. He struck out 32 batters in 23 1/3 innings and walked 10 with a WHIP of 1.071.

Paul Konerko EXPECTATIONS FOR 2011

Since winning the World Series in 2005, it's been title or bust for Williams and Guillen. That's not going to change now.

SUGGESTIONS FOR 2011

The biggest question for Williams will be if he can afford to keep Konerko, a White Sox mainstay. Konerko had a huge year and is a free agent, but he'll also be 35 on opening day and will command a big price tag, plus a multiyear contract. If you're going to spend that kind of money, why not give Adam Dunn a shot? Or, heck, go for broke (which they've been known to do) and sign both. The team certainly wouldn't lack power with a Konerko-Dunn tandem.

It'll be easy to let Bobby Jenks go, but who to replace him as the club's closer? I like Matt Thornton, but I'm not so sure Williams/Guillen is ready to lean no the lefty and take him out of the set-up role.

2011 PREDICTION

The Magic 8 Ball tells us to ask again later, there's too much time between now and April to know just what the White Sox will look like. This much is sure, the White Sox will be interesting, even if it's just the manager and general manager.

Check out the rest of the R.I.P. reports here.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .




 
 
 
 
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