What could possibly be better than adding one big free agent bat? How about retaining another. The Chicago White Sox, who finished seven games over .500 and six games behind the Twins in the AL Central last season, reportedly are close to announcing the signing of Adam Dunn. According to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times, Dunn is taking a physical and then the Sox can announce a four-year deal with him reported to be worth $56 million. As if that wasn’t enough, Cowley reports that White Sox players think free agent Paul Konerko will return to the team.
A four-year $56 million deal is slightly less than what Dunn reportedly was hoping for ($60 million), but that is the type of deal he deserves. The big slugger took a huge paycut signing with the Nats for just $20 million over two years in 2009. He had the misfortune of becoming a free agent for the first time when the economy entered the recession and signed a short-term deal with the hope of cashing in on another deal. That opportunity has come and it looks like Dunn will finally be paid.
Dunn has earned a reputation as Mr. Consistency. He hit exactly 40 home runs four straight seasons with the Reds (and part of 2008 after being traded to Arizona) and then he hit 38 home runs in both seasons with the Nats. He’s driven in at least 100 runs six times and has a career OPS of .902. He has clubbed 282 home runs since 2004, more than any baseball player except Albert Pujols. Dunn is a premier slugger in the game and will be an excellent addition to Chicago’s lineup.
Paul Konerko is 34 years old and coming off his finest season as a pro. He’s been with the White Sox since 1999 and driven in at least 90 runs eight times for them, clubbing at least 30 home runs six times. Bringing Konerko back gives the White Sox a slugger at first base to hold down the middle of the lineup as he has been for over a decade. The Adam Dunn signing keeps Chicago as a contender in the AL Central race, retaining Konerko makes them a legitimate threat to win the division and be a playoff force.