Paul Konerko to return to White Sox in 2014

Paul Konerko to return to White Sox in 2014
December 4, 2013, 10:00 am
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Paul Konerko has told the White Sox he's coming back for one more season on Wednesday, a team source confirmed.

A free agent, Konerko had been mulling his options since the season concluded in September.

Konerko, who had a .244/.313/.355 line with 12 home runs and 54 RBIs in 126 games, could have retired or may have decided to play elsewhere.

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But even though they added Cuban first baseman Jose Abreu in early November and have Adam Dunn under contract, the White Sox made it clear Konerko has a spot if he wanted to return.

Konerko, who earned $13 million last season, $7 million of which is deferred, will earn $2.5 million this season, with $1 million deferred until 2021.

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Just what role awaits the team's captain remains to be seen. But Konerko, who has been a member of the team for 15 seasons, indicated in September he might be open to a part-time role, but only with the White Sox.

"I’m looking forward to coming back in a new role where I can help both the organization and my teammates get turned around in the right direction and also do some productive things on the field,” Konerko said in a press release.

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Said White Sox general manager Rick Hahn: “As Robin Ventura and I discussed with him when we met in November, Paul will play an important role on the 2014 team by collecting at-bats as the designated hitter against certain left-handed pitching, by assisting Jose Abreu’s transition into the role of primary first baseman, as an option for Robin off the bench in specific game situations, and as an incredibly important mentor and leader within our clubhouse.”