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Konerko to return for 16th season with White Sox

The SportsXchange

First baseman Paul Konerko plans to play for the Chicago White Sox in 2014.

Konerko, a six-time All-Star, informed the team he will play his 16th season with the team. Konerko will be in his 18th season and began his career with the Los Angeles Dodgers before being traded to the Cincinnati Reds.

The deal is reportedly a one-year, $2.5 million contract.

Konerko, 37, hit .244 with 12 homers and 54 RBIs in 126 games last season, playing through thumb and wrist injuries.

The White Sox have a logjam with Adam Dunn and newcomer Jose Abreu limited to designated hitter and first base duty, as is Konerko. Dunn is due $15 million in 2014, the final season of his contract, and could be a trade candidate.

Konerko is the captain of the White Sox, championed as an invaluable leader by ownership and manager Robin Ventura. General manager Rick Hahn and Ventura traveled to visit Konerko in Phoenix before the GM meetings in Phoenix. Hahn said they had a long, honest conversation about where Konerko fit in the 2014 plans.

"All along we've wanted Paulie to get to the point where he was confident that he wanted to play next year and if it were with us, he was comfortable with what that role potentially would be," Hahn said Nov. 12. "It's a matter of everyone's comfort level and him getting convinced that that's what he wants to do."

Abreu signed a six-year, $68 million contract and could be the primary designated hitter or share the first base-DH roles with Konerko.

"In terms of who plays this, who plays that, let's wait until it becomes more relevant, and then we can talk through it all, if need be," Hahn said last month.
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