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

The Chairman is now in on the Konerko talks in the 11th hour

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paul_konerko.jpgLAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - It wasn't the news Ken Williams thought he would have to deliver on Tuesday.
"I was very hopeful coming down here,'' the White Sox general manager explained, when asked about the latest on the Paul Konerko free-agent front. "I'm less hopeful now. I was hoping it wouldn't necessarily come down to us really getting serious with our other options but we have no choice at this point.''
Leave it to board chairman Jerry Reinsdorf, however, to try and play governor and stop the execution of "The King'' leaving the South Side from happening.
The Sun-Times was told late Tuesday night by a Sox source that Reinsdorf "still wants this to happen and will try everything he can to make it happen'' with the hope that the club can have it resolved by Wednesday afternoon.
That was a far cry from the mood Williams was painting when he not only talked about the impasse with Konerko, but said "we can't stop the train,'' indicating that the Sox would now move on.
Asked what the sticking point was with Konerko, Williams would not elaborate.
"The one thing I think is necessary, it's appropriate, particularly when we're talking about a guy that has been so respectful and so first class that this doesn't need to be any more public than it is,'' Williams said. "So we'll keep those issues private.''
The Sun-Times reported earlier in the day that Konerko - nicknamed "The King'' - and his camp were adamant that there would be no pay cut from the $12 million he made last season, and if anything, hitting 39 homers and 111 RBI in 2010 made him a $15-million a year player.
With the Sox adding Adam Dunn and paying the left-handed slugger $15 million a year in his final two years, there was a respect factor that Konerko was looking for. A source reiterated that Tuesday evening, insisting, "I talked to Paulie [Monday] night and he said the Sox were his priority unless they made an offer that disrespected him.''
The source said that Konerko had multiple teams interested in him, and Williams confirmed that.
But the GM seemed ready to move on, still looking to add a first baseman, as well as bring in another weapon for the backend of the bullpen.
"I don't much care what the perception of how we have to do business because we're going to just try and put the best team on the field,'' Williams said. "We're going to be measured ultimately with how good the team performs and that's the measuring stick we should go by. But I will do everything in my power to make people understand that Paul makes his own decisions and for his own reasons, and that needs to be respected. He's given Chicago everything that we have a right to expect. There will be no hard feelings on this end. It's just the business of baseball.''
A business that might move quickly.
"All I can say is that we have meetings with other guys' representatives [Tuesday night] and it's with the mindset to try and get a deal done,'' Williams said. "I know that we did reach out one more time to see if we can have one more round of dialogue [with Konerko's agent Craig Landis] and if it works it works. If it doesn't, we can't stop the train.''
Earlier in the day, there were reports that the Sox had former Cubs hurler Kerry Wood on the radar for a bullpen spot. A source said Wood was "too expensive,'' however, but that was said with most in the organization feeling Konerko was all but a done deal and would return for a 13th season.
Now, everyone with "free agent'' next to their name was back in play for not only the bullpen, but first base. That included Derrek Lee, which was reported on Monday.
"Moving forward this may afford us the ability to do a couple of other things along with filling the position,'' Williams said. "So the assumption that we will end this or will ultimately be worse for it is incorrect. I think we still have a chance to put a real good player in the position and do some other things.''

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14 Comments

G'Damnit. Take the damn deal Paul. Don't be greedy and screw us.

KW needs to stop low balling the guy who saved his job many times.
Konerko needs to be with the Sox.
KW needs to find a few more dollars for Paul.
This just isn't right.
Sign Paul or you can go South, Williams!

KW needs to stop low balling the guy who saved his job many times.
Konerko needs to be with the Sox.
KW needs to find a few more dollars for Paul.
This just isn't right.
Sign Paul or you can go South, Williams!

Good. Leave then Paulie. Have fun counting your money in last place with your new loser franchise. #14 Adam Dunn has a nice ring to it. Speaking of rings ask Magglio if his money made him forget about missing '05, just like your gonna miss 2010.

Hey michael ford.... 2011 not 10

#14 Adam Dunn? Yeah, ok.

Also, Konerko already has his ring. He won't be crying like Maggs.

We got screwed by Werth signing that 126m/7 deal. If we hadn't signed Dunn before that, we'd be screwed out of Dunn as well. If Werth had waited until after the winter meetings, we'd have Konerko as of yesterday.

First classy post!

Paulie, if you leave for more money and feel you don't deserve less money than Dunn, I respect that and wish you luck wherever you go. However, I implore you to take a look at the measures others have made to bring you back (most notably AJ and Dunn himself) and remember not only that you have been one of the classiest, loyal guys in the history of the game, and I don't see why you'd stop being that person soon. You belong in Chicago, Paulie!

If Paul wants too much there is no point signing him if we can't get bullpen guys too

I've always loved Paulie. However, the man has probably made over $100 million as a ballplayer. What more do you need? If he signs with the Sox for even just $11 million for the first two years and raise it to $14 or $15 for the next three years;5 year contract. The man will still make a lot of money. If he has mutual love for the White Sox and knows how much his fans love him, I don't see why Konerko has to be this patient.

If Konerko would rather make a higher salary somewhere else, so be it. I'll always remember what he's done for the city, but enough is enough. Either re-sign with the Sox or go count your money elsewhere. If Paulie were to move on, I see either Derek Lee or Adam LaRoche playing first next season. Both have a strong bat and the ability to drive in 80+ runs and play good defense. I also speculate that possibly Gavin Floyd will be traded if Paulie does not re-sign; Gavin Floyd and a prospect for Prince Fielder. A Fielder-Dunn comination would be nice.

Pay the man.

Hold out for the 15 PK, they will give it to you.

Since when has Paul Konerko been nicknamed "the King?"

Very shoddy reporting here.

@Dave.... Cowley wrote a few seasons ago that Konerko was caught in the film room "admiring" a homerun swing, over and over, in slo-mo.... so all his teammates started calling him "King".

Old news.

Honestly I get that Paulie wants to hold out and get what he deserves. Trust me Paulie you deserve more than 15 for what you've done for the Sox, but as THE Sox man you need to seriously understand that Jerry is already pushing his wallet farther then he wants to go just to sign you. Everyone in Chicago wants you, Management wants you, Ozzie wants you, and I know Cowley wants you!! Please don't let 2 mil. be the reason you end your run on the South side!

That being said I know we will be fine next year if Paulie doesn't sign, because D Lee would be a fine replacement, and then we would have about 6 mil left to spend on descent bullpen guys. But the fact of the matter is I think every true Sox fan would be heart broken to see the Sox move on without Paulie. I'm not saying I'd dislike Paulie if he left, but it would be extremely hard to welcome him back to the Cell knowing the only reason he isn't playing there is because him and the girl of agent said no.

The one thing that bugs me is that we have said that Paulie is our number one priority and he has said the same. The Rangers have Paulie as their number 5 priority behind Cliff Lee, Zack Greinke, Vlad, trading Michael Young...They obviously don;t want him as much as we do...What's the hold up Paulie?

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This page contains a single entry by Joe Cowley published on December 7, 2010 5:57 PM.

Camp Konerko meets with Williams - how long can Sox wait? was the previous entry in this blog.

'The King' is back on the South Side - Konerko signs three-year deal is the next entry in this blog.

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