Reinsdorf: Konerko has 'earned the right to come back'

Reinsdorf: Konerko has 'earned the right to come back'
November 18, 2013, 8:30 pm
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CSN Staff

He doesn’t know how it will end but Jerry Reinsdorf has also made it clear it’s Paul Konerko’s choice whether or not he returns to the White Sox.

The White Sox chairman told the WSCR-AM 670 on Saturday that the veteran first baseman is welcome back in any role. Last week, White Sox general manager Rick Hahn made it clear Konerko has a spot were he to return for another season. Konerko has spent the past 15 seasons with the White Sox and is said to be mulling whether or not to retire or play one final year.

“I have no idea,” Reinsdorf said. “It’s truly Paul’s option. He has earned the right to come back if he wants to come back. He’s been the most popular player over the last 15 years that we’ve had. … He’s basically a White Sox lifer. He’s a terrific teammate. He’s our captain and he just has to make a decision whether he wants to come back or not.”

[RELATED: Hahn says there's a spot for Konerko]

Konerko hit .244 with 12 homers and 54 RBIs lasts season in 126 games. He went on the disabled list in July for only the third time in his career. Konerko said in September he had to determine if he’d like to play again in 2014 but also wasn’t sure there would be a spot open for him if he opted to. While the signing of Jose Abreu earlier this month would appear to be an obstacle because Adam Dunn is also under contract, Hahn has said the White Sox would find space for Konerko if he wants to play.

Konerko said in September the only team he’d consider a part-time role with would be the White Sox.

“I think White Sox fans would want Paul around in any role he would fill,” Reinsdorf said. “I don’t think Paul would want to come back unless he felt he could contribute to the team.”