With free agency looming, the All-Star first baseman could play his last game in a White Sox uniform Sunday against the visiting Cleveland Indians.
After struggling with the Dodgers and Reds for two seasons, Konerko has been a mainstay since arriving on Chicago’s South Side in 1999. He’s batted .282 with Chicago and hit at least 20 homers in all but one of his 12 seasons with the team.
Though Konerko is batting .310 with a team-leading 39 homers and 111 RBIs this year, it’s uncertain if the 34-year-old will be back in 2011. Whether Konerko returns could be the biggest offseason question facing Chicago (87-74), which also could spend its money upgrading the outfield and bullpen.
Konerko, meanwhile, will do what is right for himself in the end.
“There’s so many little factors to it. It’s not all one thing,” Konerko told the White Sox’s official website. “There are always little pieces that fit into it. “It’s about the game. It’s not so much about the contract or the years or the money. It could be that I get more here and don’t come back.”
Konerko heads into the finale in a 3-for-17 slump after going 0 for 3 as Chicago snapped Cleveland’s seven-game winning streak with a 6-2, rain-shortened victory Saturday.
Though the White Sox remained a postseason contender throughout the summer, they are 31-40 against the AL Central. Chicago is 8-9 against the Indians (69-92), but has won five of the last six meetings.
Scheduled starter Edwin Jackson(notes) (3-2, 3.25 ERA) is 6-1 with a 2.74 ERA in 10 starts against the Indians. He gave up three runs and struck out 11 in 8 2-3 innings of a 4-3 win at Cleveland on Aug. 31.
Acquired from Arizona on July 30, Jackson went 2-0 with a 0.96 ERA in his first four starts with Chicago but is 1-2 with a 4.79 ERA in his last six. Jackson, who has not factored in the decision of his last two outings, allowed four runs in seven innings of a 5-4 win over Boston on Tuesday.
Batting .300 with 22 homers and 22 stolen bases, Choo looks to become the first Indians player in the modern era to hit .300 with at least 20 homers and 20 steals.
“He’ll be the ideal guy to do it,” manager Manny Acta told the Indians’ official website. “He should be able to give us three innings.”
The right-hander made seven starts for Triple-A Columbus this year but is making his first in the majors since May 2, 2008, while with San Diego.
Though this will be Germano’s first start versus Chicago, he’s allowed three runs and two homers over two innings while going 0-1 in two outings against the White Sox this season.