LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Chicago White Sox agreed to a three-year, $37.5 million deal Wednesday with free-agent first baseman Paul Konerko.
The contract breaks down as follows: $12 million in the first year; $12 million, second year; $6.5 million, third year; seven years deferred at $1 million each.
"We have made no secret of the fact that re-signing Paul Konerko was our top offseason priority," White Sox general manger Ken Williams said in a statement. "Paul's value to the organization on the field and in the clubhouse can never be overstated. He is one of the greatest players in franchise history, and we hope he finishes his career in a White Sox uniform."
I'm actually really surprised by this. I thought the Dunn signing would have meant it'd be time for a change of scenery. I guess they're sticking Dunn in the DH spot full-time.
Good on the Chairman for signing off on this, despite no apparent economic justification for boosting the payroll. But I think baseball's always been his passion, where all the success of the Bulls was second in Reinsdorf's heart. And already having his '05 ring, he really didn't have to roll the dice here.
Check me if I'm wrong, but I don't think the playoff expansion is happening this season. Which means you've got the White Sox, Tigers, Twins, Red Sox, Yankees and Rays fighting for three playoff spots? (Bad enough for those clubs, much less fans of the other AL Central & East teams.)
I'd be surprised if Smoltz wins it. He's got something of a high ERA for a closer, and it may even be higher than Schilling's. I also think Schilling's control numbers are far too good to ignore. Right now, no pitcher in either league is touching him.