The Chicago White Sox have agreed to terms on a three-year, $37.5-million contract with first baseman Paul Konerko. Under terms of the deal, the four-time American League All-Star will receive $12 million in 2011 and 2012 and $13.5 million in 2013. Of the $13.5 million due in the final year of the contract, he will receive $6.5 million in 2013 and $1 million annually from 2014-2020.
Konerko, 34, batted .312 (171-548) with 39 home runs and 111 RBI in 2010, his 12th season with the White Sox, and finished fifth in AL Most Valuable Player voting. He hit 35-plus home runs for the fourth time in his career, recorded 100 RBI for the fifth time and was named to his fourth AL All-Star Team.
The 6-foot-2, 220-pound Konerko ranked second in the AL in home runs and home run ratio (14.05) in 2010, fourth in slugging percentage (career-high .584), sixth in RBI, on-base percentage (career-high .393) and total bases (career-high 320) and eighth in average and extra-base hits (70). In addition, he made his 10th consecutive Opening Day start at first base to extend his franchise record.
Konerko is a career .280 (1,861-6,642) hitter with 365 home runs and 1,156 RBI in 1,849 games over 14 major-league seasons with Los Angeles-NL (1997-98), Cincinnati (1998) and the White Sox (1999-current).
He ranks second in Sox history behind only Frank Thomas with 358 career home runs, 1,127 RBI and 701 extra-base hits, is tied for third with 335 doubles and is fifth with 950 runs scored. Konerko’s 11 seasons of 20 or more homers are tied with Thomas for the franchise record, and his nine grand slams are one shy of Robin Ventura’s club standard.
Konerko helped the White Sox win the 2005 World Series, the franchise’s first in 88 years, by hitting .265 (13-49) with five home runs and 15 RBI during an 11-1 playoff run. He hit a go-ahead grand slam in Game 2 of the Fall Classic vs. the Houston Astros.
Konerko was acquired by the Sox from Cincinnati on November 10, 1998.
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