Chicago offers pitcher arbitration

CHICAGO -- The Chicago White Sox are going to try and hold
onto Bartolo Colon for a little while longer.

The White Sox offered the right-hander arbitration on Sunday
night, allowing them to extend negotiations through Jan. 8. Chicago
also offered reliever Tom Gordon arbitration.

Gordon has already reached agreement with the New York Yankees
on a two-year, $7.25 million deal. But it hasn't been announced, so
the White Sox would get a draft pick if Gordon rejects the
arbitration offer.

The White Sox declined to offer arbitration to second baseman
Roberto Alomar, outfielder Carl Everett, infielder Tony Graffanino
and right-hander Scott Sullivan, effectively releasing them.

Chicago general manager Kenny Williams said keeping Colon was
one of his priorities this offseason, and he even offered the
right-hander a three-year deal he described as the largest ever for
a White Sox pitcher. But Colon rejected the offer, said to be worth
$36 million, at the end of October.

Though Colon's agent, Mitch Frankel, said the pitcher still
wanted to return, Williams said he would have to look in other
directions. But with Alomar and Everett gone, the White Sox should
have some additional money. Colon made $8.25 million last season.

Colon was only 15-13 with a 3.87 ERA this year, but the White
Sox love his durability and consistency. He's a 20-game winner who
has reached double-digit victories in six straight seasons. He
pitched a career-high nine complete games this year and was second
in the AL with 242 innings. His 173 strikeouts also ranked in the
top 10.

The 30-year-old Colon is 100-62 with a 3.86 ERA in seven seasons
with Cleveland, Montreal and Chicago.