Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Chicago White Sox [Print without images]

Monday, November 15, 2010
Sox ponder futures of Pierzynski, Jenks

By Bruce Levine

AJ Pierzynski
A seventh season with the White Sox is still up in the air for A.J. Pierzynski.
ORLANDO -- The Chicago White Sox's focus is on Nov. 23. That's the date you must offer arbitration to your own arbitration-eligible players.

Because of recent rule changes, not offering arbitration to your own player does not exclude you from signing them back as a free agent. For example, in the case of A.J. Pierzynski, the White Sox might hurt the catcher's chances in the free-agent market if they offer him arbitration. That would mean a team signing Pierzynski would lose two draft picks to the White Sox. Because of their relationship with Pierzynski and the fact they might want to bring him back, the White Sox may pass on offering arbitration which would give Pierzynski and his agent an even playing field to find his best offer elsehwere or return to the White Sox on a shorter contract in a good frame of mind.

In the case of Bobby Jenks, his arbitration number will be around $9 million. That price is way more than the White Sox want to pay to re-sign Jenks, whose production has dropped off in the last few seasons. If the White Sox can't find a trade for Jenks within the next 10 days -- and that hypothesis seems unlikely -- he will become a free agent after they refuse to offer him arbitration.

On Tuesday we'll visit the Paul Konerko situation and talk about whether the face of the organization over the last 12 years will be returning next season. And my live chat from Orlando will start at noon CT Tuesday. You can submit questions here. Look forward to talking with a lot of you then.