Kenny Williams: Dunn, Pierzynski deals back loaded; Paul Konerko next

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Kenny Williams spoke with reporters today to officially announce the signings of Adam Dunn and A.J. Pierzynski. He mentioned that those deals were back loaded, so as to allow the Sox to pursue Paul Konerko. The Sox are expected to meet with Konerko next week.  Inasmuch as it seems like Kenny Williams has been given the green light to go all-in for 2011, you have to assume that Konerko is going to return to Chicago.

As for playing time, Adam Dunn said today that he’s fine with being the DH. I suppose it would be shocking if he said anything else what with him, you know, choosing to come to the American League.  Either way, a lineup with Dunn and Konerko in the middle is going to look mighty nice next summer.

 

Report: Red Sox expected to hire Alex Cora after World Series

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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Red Sox have offered a contract to Astros’ bench coach Alex Cora, though the deal won’t be officially announced until the conclusion of the World Series later this month. Cora has long been a favorite for the Sox’ managerial vacancy, and despite reports that he was being pursued by the Tigers, Mets, Phillies and Nationals, he’s expected to land in Boston after all. The team has yet to verify the report.

The deal is for three years, per the Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. Cora is coming off of a one-year gig with the Astros and has no prior managerial experience. More importantly, however, he stands out for his familiarity with the Red Sox’ organization, strong connection with players and analytics-driven approach.

The Red Sox are the second team to replace their manager this offseason after the Tigers snatched up Ron Gardenhire on Friday. The Mets, Phillies and Nationals are still hunting for replacements.