The free agent market will be fairly thin this winter, but that doesn’t mean the rumors won’t be flying.
Paul Konerko, a free agent, posted a stellar .312/.393/.584 batting line in 2010 with 39 home runs and 111 RBI. The on-base and slugging percentages were career highs.
The White Sox never engaged in talks toward an extension with Konerko during the season, which indicates that they are prepared to let him walk. And there will be no shortage of teams looking for a solid power bat. In fact, one club has already thrown its hat in the ring.
Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago reports that the Diamondbacks have expressed interest in the free agent and have made signing him an “offseason priority.”
Konerko grew up in Scottsdale, Arizona and still makes his home there. Turning 35 in March, he might be attracted by the idea of settling down near his home. And playing in the hitting-friendly confines of Chase Field should suit him well.
If the D’Backs do sign Konerko, it probably means that Adam LaRoche will not be brought back. He has a $7.5 million mutual option for 2011 that comes with a $1.5 million buyout.
Mets starter Jon Niese left his start Tuesday night against the Cardinals due to left knee pain.
Niese walked two and gave up an RBI single before leaving with a trainer with one out in the bottom of the first inning. He was eventually charged with three earned runs. Robert Gsellman, just up from Las Vegas, took over, making his major league debut under unexpected circumstances.
Niese, who has not pitched well at all since coming over in a trade with the Pirates, is likely to be placed on the disabled list after the game or before tomorrow’s game.
Mark Trumbo still has many chances to hit a home run tonight — it’s only been an inning or so in the Nats-Orioles game — but his weird home run streak is over.
Coming into tonight’s game, Trumbo’s last seven hits had been homers. The all-time record had been 11, set by Mark McGwire back in 2001. The last time Trumbo got a hit that wasn’t a dong was back on August 11. Later in that game, however, he hit a grand slam. After that he went 6 for his next 34, with all those safeties dingers.
But that’s over now. In the first inning tonight he drove in a run with a two-out single. Then he was thrown out trying to stretch it to two. Good job on the RBIs, Mark. Bad job on the base running. Judgment withheld on the homer streak because, really, that’s just kind of weird and cool.