Signing Adam Dunn was step one for the White Sox this off-season. However that signing doesn't look nearly as good if the Sox don't find a way to bring Paul Konerko back to the South Side.
The question is: how much is Paul Konerko worth? At what point do his salary demands become unrealistic for a first baseman who will be 35 by the time he reports to spring training next season?
The rumors surrounding Konerko's negotiations with the White Sox and the Diamondbacks have him looking for $13 million for at least three years.
Keep in mind Paulie was making $12 million last season and like the rest of us hes only getting older. When you're an everyday position player who's value is partly based on his defense, reaching 35 is not a good thing.
Fielding aside, Konerko's performance at the plate is hardly worth anything near $13 million.
Over the past four seasons Paulie has driven in over 100 RBIs ONE time.
Over the past four seasons Paulie has hit over .280 ONE time.
Over the past four seasons Paulie has slugged over .490 ONE time.
Can you guess which year he did these things? (hint: think contract year)
Now I'm not trying to say that Paul Konerko isn't needed by the White Sox next season. He certainly is.
My point is that if he ties up $13 million of the White Sox payroll each of the next three to four season, he'll need to be providing $13 million worth of production. What leads anyone to believe that last season is what he'll do for the next three seasons when his production previous to that was consistently lower?
The Sox are not the Yankees. They can't afford to pay a player based on his legacy with the club (ahem Derek Jeter). They need to get the best value out of every dollar they pay out and whatever contract they end up giving to Konerko needs to be based on his production as a whole, not what happened in a contract year.