Paul Konerko had a career year in 2010, which has put him in line for a lucrative, multi-year deal that figures to be the last one as Konerko will be 35 on Opening Day.
Just 35 home runs away from 400 in his career, returning to the White Sox would likely assure him of reaching that milestone thanks to the cozy confines of US Cellular Field. In addition, it would allow him to finish his career with the White Sox, as he has put in 12 years with the team, all as starter. He split his first two years from 1997-98 with the Dodgers and Reds.
Despite the White Sox wanting him back and Konerko's tight relationship with owner Jerry Reinsdorf, Konerko seems open to the prospect of leaving. He has been quoted as saying he may take less money elsewhere to play as opposed to returning to Chicago. As he ages, being closer to home (Arizona) increases in importance, which is factoring into his decisions.
2010: .312/.393/.584 in 631 plate appearances, 39 HR, 111 RBI
Career: .280/.356/.498 in 7,524 PA, 365 HR, 1,156 RBI
WHAT IT WILL TAKE
Given Huff had a slightly worse season and is just a year younger, his two-year, $22 million deal is going to serve as the litmus test for Konerko. He'll probably seek two years and $28 million, or three and $34 million.
WHERE HE COULD GO
However, the Rangers may have something to say about that. They were in on Victor Martinez and want to add another slugger to the team, with both first and DH available.
The Diamondbacks could be a fit given the proximity to his home location, but Brandon Allen is ready for prime time and Kevin Towers may not want to invest in an aging slugger without the fallback of the DH spot.
Other teams nearby Konerko include the Dodgers and Angels. The Angels thought they had Konerko locked up to a deal after the 2005 season, but he ended up rejoining the ChiSox. He could be a fit at DH.
The Dodgers, however, may be motivated to shell out for Konerko having seemingly given up on James Loney at first base and missing out on Aubrey Huff.
Konerko flirts with other teams, but ultimately decides to remain on the South Side.OTHER PROFILES
Jason Bartlett | Adrian Beltre | Carl Crawford | Adam Dunn | Prince Fielder | Paul Konerko | Cliff Lee | Victor Martinez (SIGNED) | Dan Uggla (TRADED) | Rafael Soriano | Justin Upton | Jayson Werth
-- Evan BrunellFor more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.