The Chicago White Sox will have several big decisions to make in the offseason after a disappointing year. However, their decisions are not nearly as big as the one veteran Paul Konerko will have to make over the next month. If Konerko decides to come back for a 17th season, should the White Sox re-sign him?
“You don’t know what it’s going to be,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said, according to WhiteSox.com. “We can make all the plans in the world for what you’d like to see or what’s going to happen.
“Until it happens, this is what it is right now. So who you have under contract, who you have coming back, as far as younger guys we even have in the Minor Leagues, you don’t know exactly how it’s going to shake out.”
Konerko was a very productive first baseman who appears to still have what it takes to play at a high level. His .244 batting average was not exactly ideal, but he still put forth decent power numbers. Obviously, 12 home runs, 54 RBI and 16 doubles are just a shell of what he used to be able to accomplish. However, he was still right up there with the rest of the big hitters on Chicago this season.
The 37-year-old graded out as the best defensive player for the White Sox in 2013. His .994 fielding percentage did not come as a surprise considering he has always been a solid infielder. With that being said, it is encouraging to know he can still play the position.
Konerko has stated that he will need a month to decide if he will come back for another year. If he does return for the 2014 season, it has to be with Chicago and he will sign no more than a one-year deal. Konerko has even hinted at a reserve role if that puts management’s mind at ease.
“The only thing I can say on that would be the only place I could do that would be here because my family likes it here, my kids love it here, it’s a great place to be in the summer,” Konerko said, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
There is no question in my mind that Chicago should bring him back for one last season. It certainly will not hurt as far as putting fans in the stands. More importantly, he could be a big part of a postseason run, assuming the organization is able to put some decent talent around him.