Chicago White Sox fans will have the fortunate pleasure of seeing the #14 emerge from the White Sox dugout once again next season. On Wednesday, the team announced that Paul Konerko will return to the White Sox for the 2014 season on a one-year deal.
Konerko’s future with the White Sox was put into doubt when the team made the first splash of the Major League Baseball off-season in signing Cuban first baseman Jose Abreu. But all that speculation was for not as Konerko signed a one year, $2.5 million contact to return to the White Sox. Under the agreement, $1 million of the $2.5 million will be deferred until the 2021. Under his previous contract with the White Sox, the team will be giving Konerko an additional $1 million in each of the next 6 seasons.
In a statement, Konerko expressed his excitement to be returning to the White Sox.
“I’m looking forward to coming back in a new role where I can help both the organization and my teammates get turned around in the right direction and also do some productive things on the field,” Konerko said.-Paul Konerko, ESPN Chicago
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Konerko’s new contract with the White Sox gives off the impression of one that makes the veteran first baseman more of a player-coach than simply a player. With Abreu presumably being the everyday first baseman for the White Sox and Adam Dunn presumably being the regular designated hitter for the team, most of Konerko’s time this season will be spent in the dugout. Konerko’s time will not go wasted. Konerko will likely be standing alongside manager Robin Ventura as he assists in the development of the team. In particular, konerko will be crucial for the development of Abreu.
2014 will mark the 16th career season for Konerko.