2002 Bowman Heritage #313 - Paul Konerko
The offseason is an exciting time. Players are moved around. Big splashes are made. Tiny ripples too. Every move can have unintended consequences. Every decision is crucial.
Some are easy. Some are hard. Sometimes the significance of a trade or a signing won't be known for years. It is a period of uncertainty and I'm happy that I don't have the pressure on me to make those types of moves. I'll leave that in the capable hands of the GMs and the owners.
The pieces of the 2011 White Sox roster are forming before our eyes. Adam Dunn has been inked to a four year deal. Pierzynski signed a two year deal. Scott Linebrink was traded (with cash considerations, since you would have to pay any team to take him) to Atlanta for a AA pitcher. Bobby Jenks and Erick Threets were non-tendered. It doesn't mean that the White Sox couldn't re-sign them, but it gives other teams the opportunity to sign them as well.
All these moves have been made in the past few days. It's been pretty busy and exciting following the club this week. The flurry of activity has some heads spinning, wondering exactly what will come next. What should come next? Paul Konerko.
In the end, I believe that Paul Konerko will re-sign with the White Sox. Adam Dunn and Konerko could be as lethal of a one-two punch as Frank Thomas and Albert Belle were as teammates. There are still question marks, but what club doesn't have those? If the Sox can also find a decent bullpen, the 2011 team could be one for the ages.
It hinges on Konerko's decision. Could the White Sox contend without him? They have a good shot. The club has a better shot at the World Series with Konerko though. He is the club leader, whether he admits it or not. He is the glue that holds the team together. He leads by example and the others have usually followed suit.
If Paulie signs with another team, so be it. I would hope that it wouldn't be a team in the AL Central. The Sox have already faced that in 2010, when Jim Thome experienced a renaissance with the Minnesota Twins, after the Sox decided not to retain him.
The White Sox and their fans don't want to say goodbye to Paul Konerko just yet. I think Konerko doesn't want to say goodbye to the White Sox just yet. I think there's somewhere in between where everyone can get what they want.
All of this is just speculation, until something happens. When all is said and done, hopefully, everyone will be saying hello, rather than goodbye.