Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Daryl Van Schouwen and Chris De Luca

Sox offer arbitration to Konerko, Putz, but not to Manny or Pierzynski

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file-a-j-_pierzynski_april_2009.jpgLet the offseason posturing begin.
The White Sox announced before Tuesday's 11 p.m. deadline that they offered salary arbitration to free agents Paul Konerko and J.J. Putz, but declined that same offer to catcher A.J. Pierzynski and designated hitter Manny Ramirez.
What does it mean for the 2011 Opening Day roster? Well, actually nothing yet. All it means is that if Konerko or Putz sign elsewhere, the Sox are compensated with draft picks - two for Konerko, one for Putz. It does show their hand a bit, however, with the team counting on the fact that Konerko and Putz will draw enough interest from other organizations on a multi-year deal. Nether player seemed real interested in working out a one-year contract with the Sox, especially not at this point in their careers.
Konerko, who also found out he finished fifth in the American League MVP balloting on Tuesday, was very specific in that he was hoping that his next deal might be his last.
As for Pierzynski, the two sides seem to be tangled in a game of chicken. The Sox can still negotiate with Pierzynski, but have taken an arbitrator out of the mix if it came to that. Even with free agent catcher Victor Martinez now joining the Tigers, the Sox are hoping that there won't be a swell of interest for Pierzynski and the two sides can find mutual ground.
Big gamble.
Pierzynski has maintained all along that his priority since coming to the South Side in 2005 was to stay on the South Side, but business is business.
"There are 30 teams out there,'' Pierzynski said. "Everyone knows how I feel about the White Sox. We'll take it from there.''
As far as the decision with Konerko, Pierzynski was hoping it meant the Sox are taking steps in re-signing their team captain.
"I love Paul to death,'' Pierzynski added. "I can't see the White Sox without Paul considering what he's done for them and what he's meant. The White Sox won't be the same without him.''

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Time to move on, if the Sox ever want to make up ground on the Twins they will have to do it with some home cooking. It's time for the Jordan Danks, Bret Morel, Jared Mitchell, Tyler Flowers and Dayan Viciendo to get every legit chance to make the roster and play. Right now they are stacked with pitching and the DH is already in house. The Twins develop from within add a piece and it's on. The time is now while the pitching is strong enough to keep them in games.

The Sox will be much better off without Konerko (remember the previous three seasons?)...
Losing AJ could be quite a hit, though.

Did you actually speak with A.J., or are these "whispers" and "underground rumors?"

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This page contains a single entry by Joe Cowley published on November 23, 2010 7:59 PM.

'The Missile' talks Silver Slugger was the previous entry in this blog.

J.J. Putz declines arbitration and source says so does Paul Konerko is the next entry in this blog.

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