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Paul Konerko will have new role with White Sox in 2014

Paul Konerko says success White Sox this seasshould not be based making playoffs.  I  Scott Stewart~Sun-Times

Paul Konerko says the success of the White Sox this season should not be based on making the playoffs. I Scott Stewart~Sun-Times

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Updated: December 4, 2013 12:00PM

Paul Konerko will return to the White Sox next season, the team announced Wednesday.

The Sox’ No. 2 home run hitter and RBI leader of all time, who was undecided about whether to play another season after his contract expired at the end of the year, will receive a one-year, $2.5 million deal and play in a limited role as part-time designated hitter and backup to Cuban first baseman Jose Abreu. $1 million of Konerko's deal will be deferred.

“I’m looking forward to coming back in a new role where I can help both the organization and my teammates get turned around in the right direction and also do some productive things on the field,” Konerko said in a release.

Abreu was signed to a six-year, $68 million contract after the season. Abreu, Adam Dunn and Konerko give the Sox three first basemen and designated-hitter types.

“As [manager] Robin Ventura and I discussed with him when we met in November, Paul will play an important role on the 2014 team by collecting at-bats as the designated hitter against certain left-handed pitching, by assisting Jose Abreu’s transition into the role of primary first baseman, as an option for Robin off the bench in specific game situations, and as an incredibly important mentor and leader within our clubhouse,” general manager Rick Hahn said.

Konerko batted .244 with 12 homers, 54 RBI and an OPS of .659 last season.

“Paul Konerko has been an extremely important member of our lineup and presence in our clubhouse since his arrival in Chicago,” Hahn said. “Paul needed time this fall to step away, think about his situation, and reach his own conclusions. We are very pleased that he has decided to come back for another season.''

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