No products in the cart.
With Adam Dunn and Paul Konerko officially in the fold, it’s on like Donkey Kong.
And when you throw in the re-signing of A.J. Pierzynski, it’s been an equally enormous week for Rick Hahn.
Hahn played a big part in the return of the two World Series heroes. Pierzynski gave the Sox one last chance to re-sign him before taking the Los Angeles Dodgers’ offer, and Hahn responded with an unusually backloaded two-year, $8 million contract. Thanks to Kenny Williams getting rid of $2 million worth of Scott Linebrink, they worked out the deal in “10 or 15 minutes.”
Konerko ended a series of routine negotiations couple days of mild tension SOUTH SIDE STANDOFF!!! by agreeing to another creatively structured deal brokered by Hahn, and the Sox had pressure to get something done. Camp Konerko wanted $15 million at the onset of negotiations; internally, I had figured three years, $40 million, with $14 million in the final year.
They got it down to three years and $37.5 million, and it works for both sides. Konerko avoids a pay cut while receiving a third year, and the Sox have a little more wiggle room for 2013 thanks to deferred money. Konerko actually stands a chance to actually be underpaid at age 37, and the deferred money amounts to less than 1 percent of the payroll over the next seven years. The Sox proved they can win just fine while flushing a million (pointing to Ben Davis, tapping nose).
The Sox jumped over plenty of barrels, retaining their captain and solving the DH problem under difficult emotional circumstances and the return of open wallets all around baseball. And with Pierzynski back in the fold for a third of his 2010 cost, the Sox worked out three problems efficiently for 2011.
Therein lies the rub. If the Sox play well next season, Hahn might not be long for an assistant GM role. He went through the full interview process with the Mets and had nice things said about him, and there’s no shame in losing to Sandy Alderson. If he gets credit for making the pieces fit during a tricky offseason, his next interview could be his ticket out from under Kenny Williams’ wing. That is, if Williams isn’t planning on going out on top.
But we all know the risk of banking on one year, so there’s a chance nobody comes out of this looking great. Dunn, Konerko, Alex Rios, Jake Peavy and A.J. Pierzynski are set to make $61 million in 2012, and it’s not an easy bet that even three of them will be worth their salary. If the Sox win the Central in 2011, they can swing it. If not, it could get hairy.
That said, the Sox are coming off a good year that could have been better had they not gone with the Rotating DH, so it makes perfect sense that their strategy is “I want a do-over.” Remarkably, they’re only a cheap back-end starter and a couple of affordable relievers from getting it done. Williams drew up the plan, but he didn’t act alone. Jerry Reinsdorf gave him the money, and Hahn doled it out.
Leftovers from the Konerko signing:
*Ken Rosenthal says the Arizona Diamondbacks challenged the Sox the most, offering three years and $30 million, no deferred money.
*The White Sox downplayed Reinsdorf’s involvement in the matter, although Joe Cowley protested on Twitter.
*When asked about the White Sox’s chances in 2011, Konerko delivered quite a soliloquy.
*Keith Law says the signing demands early returns.
*The Transaction Oracle, Dan Szymborski, projects Konerko to fall just short of an .800 OPS in 2013.
*MLB.com videos: Williams on the signing, and Konerko’s reaction.