White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko will be a free agent for the first time since 2005 in about a month. The White Sox are even more non-committal on his status than than they were back in 2005 when it appeared he was going to sign with the Angels.
Konerko had his best year in nearly five seasons, hitting .312 with 39 home runs and a .393 on-base percentage in 149 games. It is his second best average of his career, third highest home run total, and a career high in OBP.
Both the Orioles and Angels are expected to pursue the first baseman. In the NL, don't rule out the Cubs making a run at him. While Konerko is not well liked by Cubs fans, he is a stand up baseball player who would quickly be embraced in a Cubs uniform. The Braves and Mets may also enter the mix, but a lot will depend on what Konerko is looking for.
Konerko will be 35 in March and is probably looking at a 3-year extension in the 10-12 million dollar range. Konerko hit .280 from 2006-2010 and averaged 31 home runs per season, great production over the length of that contract. His numbers are pretty consistent over the course of the decade so he could make upwards of 12 million depending on how the market shapes up for first baseman and designated hitters.