Konerko, Putz decline White Sox arbitration offer

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Konerko, Putz decline White Sox arbitration offer

Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2010
11:53 a.m.
By Brett Ballantini
CSNChicago.com
The only suspense surrounding Paul Konerkos decision to decline arbitration was when the official word would actually break.

That word finally came late Tuesday, long after reliever J.J. Putz also declined the Chicago White Sox offer of arbitration.

The logic to such a move from Konerkos standpoint is solid -- coming off a near-career year, the longtime South Side first sacker wasnt going to take a one-year deal from andor limit himself to the White Sox. Declining arbitration means that Konerko keeps his options open in every way: length of contract, total salary, and where he suits up.

Ominous in his late-season forum on pending free agency, Konerko noted that the White Sox could make the highest offer to him and he might still opt to play elsewhere. Curiously, he spent more time discussing the White Sox competitiveness within the division than he did an ideal future salary.

Konerko just ended a five-year, 60 million deal signed in the afterglow of the 2005 World Series win, choosing to re-up with the White Sox in spite of more generous offers from the Los Angeles Angels and Baltimore Orioles. That postseason, Konerko was named the MVP of the American League Championship Series, a series win that propelled the club to its first World Series in 46 years. At age 34 in 2010, he hit 39 homers and drove in 89 runs, posting a .977 OPS and finishing fifth in AL MVP voting -- ensuring that he will receive offers comparable to the 12 million salary he earned.

Several factors are working against the White Sox re-signing their right-handed slugger, beyond his hinting late in the season he had at least one other city besides Chicago in which hed like to play. With the possible loss of catcher A.J. Pierzynski tilting the White Sox lineup even farther to the right, the club is in desperate need of left-handed hitting, something still in ample supply on the first basedesignated hitter market this offseason. Konerko is also highly unlikely to duplicate his 2010 season as his career winds down -- stats guru Bill James is already predicting a 120-point OPS tumble for the first baseman in 2011. Konerkos defensive skills are in decline at a time when the White Sox are placing a higher priority on solid fielding. And finally, the White Sox again have limited funds in which to pursue free agents -- even if Konerko was the teams first choice to add this offseason, any raise on a 12 million salary -- in fact, any deal in excess of 10 million -- would be cost prohibitive to the White Sox.

Finally, the plain fact is that for all his heroism for the Pale Hose, Konerko only outpaced his multimillion-dollar deal in 2006 and 2010, per FanGraphs value analysis. Over the course of his recent contract, Konerko was paid more than he was worth for his performance on the field. Clearly, Konerko offers assets beyond between the lines, evidenced by his five-year captaincy and continual mentorship of White Sox youngsters. Whether thats worth the golden parachute that could be tucked into whatever contract he would re-sign with the club is an elusive question to answer.

Brett Ballantini is CSNChicago.com's White Sox Insider. Follow him @CSNChi_Beatnik on Twitter for up-to-the-minute White Sox information.

CSN to provide alternative Spanish-language telecasts for upcoming White Sox & Cubs games on CSN+

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CSN to provide alternative Spanish-language telecasts for upcoming White Sox & Cubs games on CSN+

MONDAY, JULY 31 at 7:00 PM CT (White Sox vs. Toronto) – featuring game analyst OZZIE GUILLEN

TUESDAY, AUGUST 1 at 7:00 PM CT (Cubs vs. Arizona) – featuring game analyst CARLOS ZAMBRANO

Chicago, IL (July 25, 2017) For the first time in network history, CSN Chicago (CSN), the home for the most games and the most comprehensive coverage of the Chicago White Sox and Chicago Cubs, will be providing an alternative Spanish-language telecast for each team that will air exclusively on CSN+ (also streaming live on CSNChicago.com and via the NBC Sports app).  CSN’s upcoming pair of alternative Spanish-language telecasts will also feature game analysis provided by two Chicago baseball icons: 2005 White Sox World Series manager Ozzie Guillen (on Monday, July 31) and three-time Cubs All-Star starting pitcher Carlos Zambrano (on Tuesday, August 1).

On Monday, July 31, CSN will carry the first of its two Spanish-language telecasts as the White Sox host the Toronto Blue Jays at 7:00 PM CT (White Sox Pregame Live presented by The Kowalis Family of Dealerships begins at 6:30 PM).  Calling the game on CSN+ will be Noticiero Telemundo Chicago’s lead sports anchor/veteran play-by-play announcer Rodrigo Arana, who will be joined in the booth by the always-candid and entertaining Ozzie Guillen, who led the White Sox to their first World Series title in 88 years, earning the 2005 American League “Manager of the Year” honor.  CSN’s primary White Sox announcing team of Jason Benetti and Steve Stone will provide the call of the game on the main CSN channel location. 

Then, on Tuesday, August 1, CSN will head to the north side of town for its second alternative Spanish-language telecast when the Cubs host the Arizona Diamondbacks at 7:00 PM CT (Cubs Pregame Live presented by Fields Auto Group gets underway at 6:30 PM).  Arana will once again handle play-by-play duties on CSN+, but will be joined in the booth this time by former Cubs standout pitcher (and hitter) Carlos Zambrano. In his 11 seasons with the Cubs, Zambrano made the National League All-Star team three times, earned three Silver Slugger awards, and finished in the NL’s top ten in ERA four-straight years (2003-06).  The primary call of the game on the main CSN channel location will be handled by CSN’s Cubs announcing duo of Len Kasper and Jim Deshaies

“With a diverse and dedicated Chicago baseball fan base throughout the entire Chicago market, we are excited to provide these Spanish-language White Sox and Cubs telecasts, showcasing the standout play-by-play call from Rodrigo and the in-depth and entertaining analysis from both Ozzie and Carlos,” said Greg Bowman, VP of Programming for CSN Chicago.

The alternative Spanish-language White Sox & Cubs telecasts will be televised exclusively on CSN+, which is available in high-definition on Comcast/Xfinity ch. 201 in the Chicago area/South Bend, IN & on Comcast/Xfinity ch. 285 in the Peoria, Springfield, Rockford and Champaign markets, along with being made available in DIRECTV, DISH Network, AT&T U-verse, RCN, and WOW! homes among others; viewers are urged to visit CSNChicago.com’s CHANNEL FINDER for complete channel location details. 

In addition, the English and Spanish versions of the White Sox game on July 31 and the Cubs game on August 1 will BOTH be accessible live via CSNChicago.com and the NBC Sports app to authenticated CSN Chicago subscribers.  The live streaming service is currently available to customers of Comcast/Xfinity, DIRECTV, DISH Network, AT&T U-verse, Mediacom, RCN, WOW!, Time Warner Cable and Charter among numerous other carriers.  For a full list of carriers and more information about CSN Chicago’s live streaming service of White Sox games, viewers are urged to visit the following link: http://www.csnchicago.com/live-faq .  The live stream of CSN’s White Sox & Cubs telecasts is presented by State Farm

Throughout the season, fans are also urged to visit CSNChicago.com’s “WhiteSoxTalk” (CSNChicago.com/white-sox) and “CubsTalk” (CSNChicago.com/cubs) sections for complete game previews/recaps, the latest news & rumors, feature reports, videos, and much more.  Fans can also follow the network’s dedicated team-specific Twitter handles (@CSNWhiteSox and @CSNCubs) for the latest news and up-to-the-minute team/player reports 24/7.  In addition, fans can look forward to new editions of CSN’s popular White Sox & Cubs PODCASTS (presented by Wintrust) featuring the network’s roster of baseball experts, along with numerous special guests.  All of CSN’s podcasts can be downloaded at CSNChicago.com/podcasts and by simply subscribing to them via Apple Podcasts, Google Play or Stitcher.  The podcasts can be played on any mobile device, laptop, or desktop computer.

Jose Quintana: 'It would have been a little hard for me to face the White Sox'

Jose Quintana: 'It would have been a little hard for me to face the White Sox'

Jose Quintana sounds relieved he won’t have to face his former White Sox teammates this week.

The pitcher said Tuesday morning that he’s ecstatic for his new opportunity with the Cubs, who have made him feel very comfortable these first two weeks. After he earned his second win for the Cubs on Sunday night, Quintana spent part of pregame Monday with his former White Sox teammates in visiting clubhouse at Wrigley Field. They caught up on small talk and Quintana said they spent as much time together as they could. That’s a luxury he wouldn’t have been afforded had he been preparing to face them on Monday instead. The Cubs decided last Friday that Quintana would pitch Sunday night against the St. Louis Cardinals and not again until this Friday against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Though he wants to face them in the future and knows it will happen one day, Quintana doesn’t sound as if he objected to the decision made by the Cubs coaching staff.

“One day I’ll pitch against them, but that’s the decision of the pitching coach and the manager,” Quintana said. “They wanted me to face the Brewers the first game. But it would have been a little hard for me to face the White Sox, too, my old teammates. But one day for sure I want to face them.”

Quintana has already experienced a similar scenario earlier this season when he pitched against former White Sox pitcher Chris Sale at Guaranteed Rate Field on May 30. Facing Sale in his return with the Boston Red Sox wasn’t easy, Quintana said. Both pitchers struggled and instead of a pitching duel, the Red Sox outslugged the White Sox 13-7. Afterward, Quintana said he was embarrassed by his performance.

“It would be similar because when I faced Sailor it was a little weird, one of the best teammates I’ve ever had,” Quintana said. “You know, facing my old teammates, the lineup, would be a little weird.”

Third baseman Matt Davidson acknowledged how surreal the situations seems to see Quintana in a Cubs uniform. Though they only played together a little in the majors, Davidson has been around the veteran pitcher for several years every spring. To see him as part of the exodus of major league talent from the White Sox roster isn’t surprising, but it isn’t easy, either, Davidson said.

“He’s wearing blue now but that’s kind of part of the game you’re used to,” Davidson said. “It definitely kind of hurt a little bit to lose a guy who’s a cornerstone of the organization like that, him leaving. But it’s to be expected with the rebuild going on and we’re moving in the right direction.”

Jose Abreu agrees that seeing Quintana on the Cubs is different. But as awkward as the situation may be, Abreu would have loved to face Quintana. That should come as no surprise as Abreu was up for the challenge of facing Sale, producing a two-run, bases-loaded single against him in May.

“He was here with us a week ago, and now he’s gone,” Abreu said through an interpreter on Friday. “But those are the kind of things you like, to face the best in baseball. I wish him the best, but I would like to face him.”

Quintana said he wasn’t surprised by the news when manager Rick Renteria called July 13 to inform him he’d been traded. The landing spot may have come as a surprise, but Quintana heard the rumors and acknowledged to Rick Hahn they bothered him early in the season.

So far, Quintana has enjoyed the transition. He said Joe Maddon’s staff has made him feel very much at home.

As for facing his old ‘mates, Quintana looks forward to that opportunity, too.

“They’ve made it easy to be here, the coaches,” Quintana said. “I appreciate this organization for giving me the opportunity to be here. I enjoy it and I’m happy and excited to be here. I have a really good opportunity to make the playoffs.

“(Facing the White Sox) is part of being here so one day I’ll go face them.”