Chicago White Sox: Contracts

Keppinger cut shows Sox mean business

May, 14, 2014
May 14
4:06
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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Jeff KeppingerKelvin Kuo/USA TODAY SportsJeff Keppinger didn't live up to the expections the Sox had when they signed him before the 2012 season.
Hungry to continue their roster rebuild, the Chicago White Sox elected to eat some salary with Wednesday’s decision to designate Jeff Keppinger for assignment.

Talk about your changes in company policy.

When the White Sox were in sell-off mode last season, a big priority in making deals was finding trade partners who were willing to take most, if not all, of a player’s entire salary in a deal. With the Jake Peavy and Alex Rios deals, not to mention the Jesse Crain and Matt Thornton trades, the White Sox shed some $37 million-plus in future earnings, making that savings as attractive as the players who were being acquired.

What Wednesday’s move seems to signify is that guaranteed at-bats for infielders like Conor Gillaspie, Marcus Semien, and even Gordon Beckham, are worth the estimated $7.5 million the White Sox are set to pay Keppinger through the 2015 season.

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Quintana, Jones among 24 to reach deals

March, 1, 2014
Mar 1
1:50
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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The Chicago White Sox announced Saturday that they came to terms on one-year deals with 24 players and now have all players on their 40-man roster signed for 2014.

All the players who reached deals had less than three years of major league experience, meaning they have not reached their arbitration-eligible years. Factors like performance and service time are considered, but the contracts for the players in the controlled group are modest when compared to the major league average salary of $3.4 million last season.

The top dollar amounts given to the 24 players under team control were the reported $550,000 deal for starter Jose Quintana and the $545,000 deal given to closer candidate Nate Jones.

The major league minimum salary is $500,000 for the upcoming season.

The remaining players to reach deals: Maikel Cleto, Frank De Los Santos, Erik Johnson, Charlie Leesman, Nestor Molina, Jake Petricka, Andre Rienzo, Eric Surkamp, Donnie Veal, Daniel Webb, Adrian Nieto, Josh Phegley, Matt Davidson, Leury Garcia, Conor Gillaspie, Carlos Sanchez, Marcus Semien, Jordan Danks, Adam Eaton, Avisail Garcia, Jared Mitchell and Trayce Thompson.

Konerko decision due before meetings

November, 19, 2013
11/19/13
7:46
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- The Chicago White Sox should know within three weeks whether Paul Konerko will accept their offer of a roster spot for the 2014 season.

General manager Rick Hahn said Tuesday the team expects to have the situation resolved before the winter meetings begin Dec. 9, insisting that the wait isn't hurting the team's ability to put together next year's roster.

"It's not really hamstringing us in terms of our planning," Hahn said. "We have a plan, obviously, if he's back, and we have a plan if he's not back. We haven't missed on any opportunities to fill that role if he doesn't fill it himself. I think it's good to have it resolved for his own preparation, and for the terms of getting ready for spring training to have it set by December. I think we'll be able to do that."

Both Hahn and chairman Jerry Reinsdorf have said they will welcome Konerko back with open arms if he wants to forgo retirement, but there have been no indications about what the team would be willing to pay its team captain, who made $13.5 million in 2013.

Hahn and manager Robin Ventura met with Konerko in Arizona before this month's GM meetings to personally extend the offer of a roster spot.

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Konerko soaks in cheers, hints at return

September, 29, 2013
9/29/13
5:32
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- Nothing went as planned this year for Paul Konerko, so why should the final day of the season be any different?

After straining his back Saturday night, Konerko played just two innings Sunday in what could have been his White Sox farewell as his contract expired at the completion of the season.

The longtime team captain came to the plate in the first inning to a standing ovation from the crowd of 22,633 and fouled out, but even that was appreciated. Konerko received another modest ovation as he returned to the dugout.

In the second inning, Konerko took his position at first base, but was replaced by Conor Gillaspie before the first pitch. As he jogged off the field, he received yet another standing ovation, and then received a curtain call after getting back to the dugout.

“It always feels good,” Konerko said of the ovations. “The fans here have treated me great over the years. In a year like this, they treated me better than probably I deserved, really the whole team when you think about it. There were moments where they hung in with us where I knew they were antsy about what was going on (with the team).

“(Fan appreciation) always feels good. It certainly feels better when you're doing World Series parades but I don't take it for granted at all. It's always good, but this year was a little different circumstances.”

Now comes the waiting game. The White Sox are expected to be interested in re-signing Konerko, but their offer will likely come with a pay cut from the $13.5 million ($7 million deferred) he earned in 2013.

Konerko wants to take at least a month to decide if he even wants to play anymore, although at 37, he knows the itch will come with a vengeance soon.

General manager Rick Hahn already said that the team plans on having a face-to-face meeting with Konerko possibly in early November, if not earlier, and Konerko said he expects to have lunch with chairmain Jerry Reinsdorf in Arizona around that timeframe as well.

Because everything is in limbo, Konerko felt sheepish about getting so much attention from fans. He went through the same thing after his contract expired following the 2010 season and ended up returning.

“People treated me so well (in 2010) and it was such a big deal at the end, when I came back I felt like I kind of played with people's emotions even though that was nothing intentional,” Konerko said. “It was such a big deal at the end there and it was similar to that today where I didn't want to make a big spectacle out of it.

“There's no escaping it kind of at the end here when there is some unknown about what's going to happen. But I definitely had that in mind because I didn't want to be out there tipping my hat every time I moved a muscle and all that kind of stuff. I totally love it and the fact they're behind me, but I feel a little awkward not knowing.”

About the only thing Konerko does seem to know at this point is that if he does return in 2014, that will certainly be his final season.

If Konerko fans are able to find a silver lining from a miserable season it’s that struggles like this don’t necessarily inspire somebody to walk away.

“I feel probably like most of you people that have been around here and everybody I've talked to that this just doesn't seem right, the way this has gone down, so that lends itself to playing,” Konerko said. “But I also don't know about the team and all that kind of stuff so you still have to throw that in and say that's a possibility, that even if I want to that they don't want it.

“Nonetheless, they've given me more over the years and it’s not about this one day. Baseball's never summed up in one day. That's what great about baseball, it’s summed up over a whole season of games, a whole career of games. That’s how it is with me and the fans.”

With his two young sons waiting in the clubhouse while Konerko wrapped up his final interview of the season, he was asked if he just needs to get away from things for a while before deciding on the future.

“As soon as I walk out of here, regardless of what I want, it’s family time; I have to be a dad,” Konerko said. “Which reminds me, is anything on fire back there? I haven’t seen (my kids) in a while.”

If you had to get a read on Konerko on the final day of the season, the clues point to him wanting to return, with the White Sox his preferred destination.

“I have some trips planned, some things going on here, and (the downtime) does wear off,” he said. “That’s why I said the other day that there’s no doubt the next couple of weeks, month, the needle is going to move to wanting to get back here. That’s the nature of our habits as players. We were born to do this.”

Is Paul Konerko era on its last legs?

August, 11, 2013
8/11/13
1:46
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- The clock is ticking louder now as the potential end to a memorable Chicago White Sox era is getting closer.

Paul Konerko is under contract with the White Sox for only seven more weeks and the future remains murky beyond that.

Konerko has been in this spot twice before, of course, and both times he ended up reaching an agreement with the White Sox to stay a little longer. Odds of that happening this offseason are less certain since the White Sox are retooling the roster and, at 37, the team captain has performed well below his run-producing standards.

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White Sox not finished paying Peavy

July, 31, 2013
7/31/13
5:52
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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CLEVELAND -- The Chicago White Sox aren't exactly free and clear when it comes to paying Jake Peavy for services rendered.

The White Sox traded Peavy to the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday night in a three-team that also included the Detroit Tigers. Part of the deal stipulated that the Red Sox pick up all of the remaining money owed to Peavy, who is still must be paid a third of the $14.5 million he is making this year and all of the $14.5 million he is owed next year.

There remains another $4 million, though, that the White Sox will still be paying to their former pitcher. When Peavy's contract was renegotiated by the White Sox shortly after the 2012 season, the White Sox bought out the $4 million option from his old contract.

They then agreed to defer it in four $1 million installments that run from 2016 to 2019. The Red Sox are not picking up that money.

"That was earned at the time of the contract and that's the obligation of the Chicago White Sox," Hahn said. "That's like a signing bonus. He's already earned that money, but in terms of his annual salaries, no cash went with that to Boston."

A humble Sale counts his blessings

March, 8, 2013
3/08/13
3:22
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- Chicago White Sox pitcher Chris Sale said Friday that he expects a large dinner tab to appear on his credit card statement in the very near future.

The soon-to-be 24-year old pitcher just had his five-year, $32.5 million contract announced Thursday, with club options that could take the deal in the neighborhood of some $60 million.

Appearing as a guest on ESPN 1000’s "Waddle and Silvy Show," Sale acknowledged that it’s probably time to take a group of White Sox players to dinner.

“If I didn’t, I wouldn’t have any friends in this clubhouse,” Sale said. “That’s kind of what comes with the territory and I have no problem doing that. It’s something that’s fun for everybody. Everybody is happy for me and I am thankful for that. I wouldn’t be here without them so if it just costs me a nice steak dinner I’m more than happy to do that.”

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Viciedo, Sale, Reed top contract list

February, 22, 2013
2/22/13
11:12
AM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Chicago White Sox came to contracts terms with 25 players for the upcoming season, including projected starting position players Dayan Viciedo and Tyler Flowers.

Also coming to an agreement on a deal was closer Addison Reed and starter Chris Sale.

All the players who reached agreements Friday are those on the 40-man roster and are still in the early part of their careers and under team control. All players on the White Sox’s 40-man roster are now under contract.

Viciedo will make $2.8 million in 2013, while Sale will make $600,000 and Reed will make $520,000. The minimum major league salary is $490,000 this season.

The one-year deal for Viciedo is significantly higher because he made $2.5 million last season plus a prorated portion of his signing bonus in the final year of the four-year, $10 million deal he signed when he became White Sox property in 2009. Players can't make 20 percent less than they made in the previous season.

Pitchers who reached deals: Dylan Axelrod, Simon Castro, Deunte Heath, Nate Jones, Charlie Leesman, Jhan Marinez, Nestor Molina, Brian Omogrosso, Jose Quintana, Reed, Andre Rienzo, Santos Rodriguez, Sale, Hector Santiago, Leyson Septimo and Donnie Veal.

Catchers: Flowers, Hector Gimenez, Josh Phegley.

Infielders: Brent Morel and Angel Sanchez.

Outfielders: Jordan Danks, Jared Mitchell, Blake Tekotte and Dayan Viciedo.

Grantland: 15 worst contracts in baseball

February, 12, 2013
2/12/13
12:05
PM CT
By Staff
ESPNChicago.com
John DanksAndrew B. Fielding/US Presswire
After evaluating the best deals in MLB, it's time to determine which ones you should run away from.

Click here to read the story on Grantland.com.

Focused Konerko promises no distractions

January, 25, 2013
1/25/13
6:25
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- Paul Konerko is one cool customer, so the idea that this could be his last season on the South Side won’t be an issue.

He isn’t a robot either, though, so he remains realistic as he heads into the final season of yet another Chicago White Sox contract.

“I’m aware, but it’s not much different than it was a couple years ago when I was here,” Konerko said Friday during the first day of SoxFest. “You know there’s different scenarios that can play out. But there are so many moving parts to it all that you just can’t handicap or gauge how it’s going to go because you don’t know what’s going to happen, how I’m going to feel seven months from now, what I’m going to be thinking, what they’re going to be thinking.”

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White Sox add RH reliever Lindstrom

January, 19, 2013
1/19/13
9:45
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- The White Sox came to terms on a one-year deal with hard-throwing reliever Matt Lindstrom, according to multiple reports.

The 6-foot-3, 220-pound right-hander has pitched for five teams over the past four seasons, taking the mound for both the Baltimore Orioles and the Arizona Diamondbacks last year. He had a combined 2.68 ERA over 47 innings (46 appearances) this past season.

The deal, with an option for 2014, was first reported by CBSSports.com and is pending a physical.

Lindstrom, along with Nate Jones, Jesse Crain and Matt Thornton, would help comprise the back end of the White Sox bullpen in front of closer Addison Reed.

The Idaho native will turn 33 on Feb. 11, the day before White Sox pitchers and catchers are required to report to Arizona for spring training.

Lindstrom, who had 23 saves for the Astros in 2010, has posted a combined 2.85 ERA in 101 innings over the past two seasons out of the closer role.

Beckham, De Aza agree to deals for 2013

January, 18, 2013
1/18/13
3:25
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- The Chicago White Sox reached deals with Gordon Beckham and Alejandro De Aza, signing both Friday to one-year deals for the 2013 season.

Both players had filed for salary arbitration and will each see a significant raise on their salaries from a year ago. Beckham will make $2.925 million for the upcoming season after making $520,000 in 2012. De Aza will see his salary increase to $2.075 million from $495,000 last year.

Beckham, 26, batted just .234 last season with 16 home runs and 60 RBIs, although his defense has been much improved with a .9899 fielding percentage that was second among second baseman in franchise history to Nellie Fox's .9901 mark in 1962.

De Aza, 28, batted .281 with 50 RBIs, 81 runs scored and 26 steals last season. In his first full season with the White Sox he hit four leadoff home runs, the fifth-most in franchise history and the most since Ray Durham hit a team-record six in 2001.

Beckham, De Aza file for arbitration

January, 15, 2013
1/15/13
6:52
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- Gordon Beckham and Alejandro De Aza each filed for salary arbitration Tuesday, the first step in determining each player’s pay for the 2013 season.

An arbitration hearing would be the last resort in resolving a one-year salary for each player, although the White Sox typically avoid such a procedure by coming to terms on a contract. The White Sox, along with both players, will submit salary figures by the end of the week.

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White Sox extend 20 spring invites

January, 10, 2013
1/10/13
6:00
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- The White Sox invited 20 players to spring training, including seven that have been signed to minor-league deals and another 13 from the club’s own system.

Players not on the club’s 40-man roster need to be invited to big-league camp separately.

The complete list of players who have agreed to minor-league deals are right-handers Jeff Gray and Ramon Troncoso, left-hander David Purcey, catcher Bryan Anderson, infielders Josh Bell and Steve Tolleson and outfielder Stefan Gartrell.

Those already in the minor-league system that will get an opportunity to show what they can do in big-league camp include: right-handers Erik Johnson and Jacob Petricka, left-handers Daniel Moskos and Scott Snodgress, catchers Michael Blanke and Kevin Smith, infielders Seth Loman, Tyler Saldino, Carlos Sanchez, Marcus Semien and Andy Wilkins, and outfielders Trayce Thompson and Keenyn Walker.

Seven of the 20 players invited have major-league experience, while five are ranked by Baseball America as top 10 White Sox prospects.

Thompson is the highest ranked at No. 2, while Sanchez is No. 3, Johnson is No. 4, Walker is No. 5 and Snodgress is No. 6. Walker was the White Sox first pick (47th overall) in the 2011 draft.

White Sox pitchers and catchers report to Glendale, Ariz., to begin spring training on Feb. 12. Position players are scheduled to report on Feb. 17.

Youkilis gone, Pierzynski on clock

December, 11, 2012
12/11/12
6:19
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- Now that Kevin Youkilis has officially moved on from the Chicago White Sox it appears to be a matter of time before A.J. Pierzyynski does the same.

Reports revealed Tuesday evening that Youkilis had agreed to a one-year deal with the New York Yankees. Youkilis was reportedly considering a free-agent deal with the Cleveland Indians as well.

The White Sox were interested in keeping Youkilis and have the same feeling for Pierzynski, but the price tag for both was and is too high. Even with Youkilis out of the picture, the White Sox still don’t figure to have the resources to keep Pierzynski.

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