Chicago White Sox: Does Replacing Paul Konerko With Adam Dunn Make Sense?

D.A.Senior Writer INovember 18, 2010

Does Replacing Paul Konerko With Adam Dunn Make Sense For The White Sox?

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    CHICAGO - OCTOBER 23:  Paul Konerko #14 of the Chicago White Sox celebrates after hitting a grandslam home run against the Houston Astros in the seventh inning during Game Two of the 2005 Major League Baseball World Series at U.S. Celluar Field on October
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Remember this picture White Sox fans? It's the reason Paul Konerko is a White Sox legend. At the end of arguably his greatest professional season, Konerko is now a free agent.

    The White Sox just also just met with Adam Dunn's agent. Is Dunn a potential replacement for Konerko in Chicago? If so, would it be a smart move for the White Sox?

    Here are the pros and cons of the White Sox replacing Paul Konerko with Adam Dunn.

YES: Age Difference

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    WASHINGTON - SEPTEMBER 24:  Adam Dunn #44 of the Washington Nationals hits a home run in the second inning against the Atlanta Braves at Nationals Park on September 24, 2010 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
    Greg Fiume/Getty Images

    Paul Konerko will be 35 when the 2011 season starts, and Adam Dunn will be 31. We all know this isn't a pleasant age for veterans in baseball. And, Adam Dunn is still (barely) in the prime of his career. So signing Dunn to replace Konerko would give the White Sox consistency over the next few years.

NO: Leadership

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    CHICAGO - AUGUST 10: Paul Konerko #14 of the Chicago White Sox watches from the dugout as his teammates take on the Minnesota Twins at U.S. Cellular Field on August 10, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Twins defeated the White Sox 12-6. (Photo by Jonathan D
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Konerko is a White Sox legend, the face of the franchise, and filled the void when Frank Thomas split. Most of the White Sox players have said that Konerko is emotional and on-field leader of the team, and that's why he's the captain. This isn't to say Dunn could do the same thing, but it would be hard to fill Konerko's shoes.

YES: Preempt The Tigers

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    DETROIT - JULY 25: Brennan Boesch #26 of the Detroit Tigers bats in the eighth inning during the game on July 25, 2010 at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan. The Blue Jays defeated the Tigers 5-3.  (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
    Leon Halip/Getty Images

    There are talks of serious negotiations between Dunn and the Tigers. The Tigers have been a competitive division rival for years now. Imagine having to face Miguel Cabrera and Adam Dunn in a row, that would be a pitcher's nightmare. Signing Dunn would be beneficial as to ensure the Tigers don't get him.

NO: Strikeouts, Strikeouts, Strikeouts

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    PHOENIX - AUGUST 04:  Adam Dunn #44 of the Washington Nationals prepares to bat during the Major League Baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on August 4, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Nationals defeated the Diamondbacks 7-2.  (Pho
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Adam Dunn is already 28th all-time in strikeouts. He came in second in the National League in strikeouts last year, with 199. His strikeouts would be problematic for a team that already has tons of problems with runners in scoring position.

YES: Home Runs

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    PHOENIX - AUGUST 04:  Adam Dunn #44 of the Washington Nationals is congratulated by teammate Josh Willingham #16 after hitting a solo home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the fourth inning of the Major League Baseball game at Chase Field on Au
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Let's be realistic fellow Sox fans: Konerko isn't going to hit 39 home runs again. He was in a contract year and he only hit 28 and 22 in the previous years. Dunn has been a consistent home run machine, hitting at least 38 a year since 2004. The White Sox offense is dependent on home runs. Dunn can only do more damage in US Cellular Field.

NO: Money

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    CHICAGO - JUNE 24: Paul Konerko #14 of the Chicago White Sox takes a swing against the Atlanta Braves at U.S. Cellular Field on June 24, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The White defeated the Braves 2-0.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Yes, Paul Konerko will be costly to keep, but Adam Dunn will be even more expensive. Any amount of money the White Sox can save will be beneficial, especially given the needs for a closer and designated hitter. If the White Sox can keep Konerko at $12 million a year, that would still be cheaper than the "starting point" of $13.33 million a year for Dunn.

Toss-Up: On-Base Percentage

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    ATLANTA - JUNE 30:  Adam Dunn #44 of the Washington Nationals against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field on June 30, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Last year was an anomaly for both Konerko and Dunn. Konerko had the highest OBP of his career (.393) and Dunn had the second lowest of his career (.356). Dunn has a career .381 OBP whereas Konerko's is .356. So it's really a tossup. 

Toss-Up: Defense

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    CHICAGO - AUGUST 23:  Paul Konerko #14 of the Chicago White Sox tosses the ball during the game against the Tampa Bay Rays on August 23, 2008 at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Neither Konerko nor Dunn is a great defender. Konerko is below average (yes, I do realize he occasionally makes great plays, but his range and quickness are both limited) as is Dunn. The preferable option would be to have one of them be a DH.

Verdict: Dunn Isn't Worth The Price Of Losing Konerko

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    NEW YORK - APRIL 30:  Paul Konerko #14 of the Chicago White Sox celebrates his first inning three run home run against the New York Yankees with teammate Alexei Ramirez #10 on April 30, 2010 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Konerko is the leader of the White Sox. Losing him would be devastating, and the addition of Adam Dunn wouldn't offset the loss. Dunn would be more expensive and likely strike out in clutch situations, where Konerko has come up huge.

    In a fantasy world, the White Sox would sign both, putting Konerko at DH, where he gets extra rest and is an effective better. Too bad it's utopian.

    The White Sox should try to keep Paul Konerko. Don't let him go to the Orioles, Diamondbacks, Rays, Rangers, or whoever is interested in him. He's a valuable asset.