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CHICAGO -- Chicago White Sox captain Paul Konerko was definitive with at least one part of his future, saying Friday that if he does decide to play baseball again, 2014 will be his final season.
What is left to determine for the 17-year veteran, whose contract is set to expire, is whether Sunday's season finale will mark the end of his career. The designated hitter/first baseman said he will take at least a month to decide whether he wants to play next year, and if he does, he will see what types of offers are available.
"The one thing I can give you of any substance today probably would be that if I do play next year, that will probably be it," Konerko said Friday before the White Sox faced the Kansas City Royals. "So that's really what it boils down to."
Options for Konerko in 2014 include signing with another club, retiring or returning to the White Sox.
General manager Rick Hahn plans on meeting with Konerko early in the offseason.
"We're going to let everyone get away for a few weeks and exhale," Hahn said. "We'll sit down with Paulie and have a direct conversation with him face to face about what he wants and how he's feeling and what he hopes to accomplish next year, as well as what the team's going to look like and how he could potentially fit and what the plan would be going forward."
At this point, though, it sounds like everything is up in the air.
"I'm as confused as anybody else," Konerko said. "You can tell. I don't really have answers. I think taking a month off, a month away from this, which I know if I do that, the more you don't play, the needle will always move toward wanting to play. That's what I feel would happen. That's what people tell me."
Konerko is willing to assume a part-time role if he plays in 2014.
"The only thing I can say on that would be, the only place I could do that would be here because my family likes it here, my kids love it there, it's a great place to be in the summer," Konerko said.