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Signing Big Donkey answered one big question, but the prospect of re-signing Eeyore raises some brand new ones should Kenny Williams gets both his asses handed to him.
Doug Padilla thinks that Paul Konerko would be in line for as much as Adam Dunn received from the Sox (four years, $56 million) if he returns. That’s a scarier prospect to me than Dunn’s contract, but we’ll cross the financial bridge when we get to it.
But we can talk about the depth chart if Konerko mans first, because with A.J. Pierzynski in the fold after signing a two-year, $7 million contract, the Sox have some blocking to negotiate.
A quick rundown of the players in question:
*Carlos Quentin: Kenny Williams reinforced his faith in Quentin by saying, “Carlos Quentin plays right field for us.” (Although he did leave an out by not saying he will play right field.) In the likely event that Williams isn’t misleading, the Sox can live with it for one more year. But if puts up similar numbers with similar defense in 2011, Williams might have to talk trade eventually. There’s nowhere for him to go, and he’s still getting more expensive.
*Brent Morel. He still appears to be in control of his own destiny, but if Williams is truly “all-in,” how long of a leash will Morel get? Back in 2005, Joe Crede lagged behind the rest of the offense and Williams defended his third baseman when others wanted an upgrade. The lesson for Morel: Play great defense.
*Mark Teahen. If Morel sticks (maybe with help from Omar Vizquel), and if Dunn and Konerko are around, it looks like his best chance for anything approaching regular playing time is in right field, as an occasional platoon buddy for Quentin. Otherwise, he may as well tweet from the dugout.
*Dayan Viciedo. Presuming Jackin’ Dayan can’t make the leap at third, he suddenly looks exceedingly tradeworthy. I know he’s the Tank, but I don’t think he can bust through this roadblock.
*Tyler Flowers. Flowers doesn’t have to worry about first base, because he could catch in the majors if he could find a way to hit there. Alas, with Pierzynski and his 10-and-5 rights back for two more years, it looks like he’s got nowhere to go, too. I don’t think they have to rush into trading him, but it’s a three-step process for freedom. First, he has to hit well enough to force the issue. Then, Pierzynski has to crater completely, and then Ozzie Guillen has to work up the nerve to not let A.J. hold the position hostage. Good luck with all that, Tyler.
*Chris Sale. The White Sox didn’t offer Bobby Jenks a contact, but they haven’t closed the door on his return, either, which means it would require Jenks swallowing some pride. If Jenks returns with a smaller salary, Guillen won’t have to re-tool much. But it’s possible that the Sox will have to abort their plans to make Sale a starter, and I can see why. The Dunn signing means there’s no turning back on 2011, and Sale in a lesser role still goes a long way.
*Alexei Ramirez. OK, there’s nothing affecting his status, but the Sox did exercise the $2.75 million option.
More Dunn reaction:
*Rob Neyer wonders if the Dunn deal means Williams has stopped punting positions completely.
*Keith Law says Dunn is a big help, but wonders if the Sox bid against themselves a little.
*Carl shows us what a committee of one looks like.
*J.J. says Dunn is dandy, but Konerko is still the key.
*U-God at South Side Sox is ecstatic.
*Mike at White Sox Mix says this changes everything.
*Thanks to the Dunn signing, several of our offseason plans are in pretty good shape. Here’s who wanted Dunn, and their predicted dollar figures:
- Shinons: Five years, $60 million.
- ChiSoxHawk: Four years, $48 million.
- In the collection of ideas at the end, Chris had Dunn for 4/$46.
- Soxfan1: Three years, $36 million.
- Matt H.: Three years, $35 million.
- Brett: Three years, $33 million.
It looks like $12 million was the generally accepted price, so I wonder if anybody foresaw Dunn getting this much. I’m looking forward to the head-to-head comparison when both he and Victor Martinez (four years, $50 million) enter the second halves of their deals.
*And one last thought I had (for now) — thanks to Jake Peavy, Dunn won’t be able to wear No. 44. That’s just as well, considering No. 44 has ruined the shoulders of Peavy and Toby Hall, stymied Brian Anderson and almost did the same to Aaron Rowand, and drove Billy Koch insane.