The Chicago White Sox wouldn’t have won the 2005 World Series without Paul Konerko on the roster. However, the year 2014 is slowly approaching and the once-dominant first basemen is a shell of his former self. After playing in just 126 games last year, Konerko posted an abysmal .244 batting average with a mere 12 home runs — Konerko’s lowest mark since 1998.
With all that being said, Konerko is reportedly returning for one last year with the White Sox for $2.5 million a season, with $1 million deferred until 2021. Konerko’s has been the club’s everyday first baseman for the better part of 15 years, but that will not be the case in 2014. Jose Abreu was signed to a six-year, $68 million contract to “replace” Konerko in the Chicago line-up.
Many would peg Konerko as the club’s Designated Hitter, but the highly-paid Adam Dunn currently occupies that spot for Robin Ventura‘s team. Therefore, the third-year manager has a ton on his plate this season. Konerko has lost a step — or five — but he will undoubtedly have his number retired by the White Sox upon retirement, so it’s a very slippery slope. Konerko’s resume speaks for itself with six All-Star appearances and 434 career home runs. However, Konerko’s best days are behind him and it’s now Ventura’s job to keep everyone in the White Sox dugout happy.