Hahn: White Sox not hamstrung by Konerko
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN Staff Reporter November 19, 2013 11:08PM
Paul Konerko needs time to decide if he wants to come back in 2014. If he does, it only would be with the White Sox. | Getty Images
The Paul Konerko question came up again Tuesday.
“I have no update on Konerko at this time,” White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said. “It could be tomorrow. It could be two weeks. More likely than not it’s going to be resolved prior to the winter meetings before we leave here on Monday the 9th [of December]. I don’t have a firm time frame, but I think it will be done before then.”
Hahn, attending the signing ceremony for college-bound high school baseball players in the Sox Amateur City Elite program at U.S. Cellular Field, said the Sox have two plans in place as they go forward preparing for the 2014 season: One with Konerko and one without.
“It’s not really hamstringing us in terms of our planning,” Hahn said. “We haven’t missed on any opportunities to fill that role if he doesn’t fill it himself. I think it’s going to resolve for his own preparation and for the terms of getting ready for spring training to have it set by December. I think we’ll be able to do that.”
Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf said on Saturday that Konerko, who will be 38 next season, can play next year if he wants to. Konerko has been in the decision-making process since the end of the season. Hahn said he agreed with Reinsdorf that Konerko, whose number will one day be retired by the Sox, has earned the right to make his call.
“That’s what we are dealing with here,” Hahn said. “We are dealing with the face of the franchise for the past 15 years and one whether he plays in 2014 or not, will always be associated with a very successful era of White Sox baseball. Jerry publicly made it very clear that because of who Paul is and what he’s done for this organization that he’s earned the right to make this decision on his terms and that’s what we are providing him the opportunity to do.
“I don’t think Paulie wants to play just to be on the bench or a farewell tour. That’s not him. He’s not looking to go to every ballpark and receive a gift or a special sendoff from White Sox fans. He would want to play only if he felt he had something left in the tank and something to add to a club.”