Paul Konerko re-signing with the White Sox seemed like a near-lock as recently as yesterday, but general manager Ken Williams told reporters this afternoon that contract talks have hit a major snag and may force the team to look elsewhere for a first baseman.
Williams revealed plans to speak to agents for several other first base options, saying “at this point we have no choice” and “you can’t stop the train.”
Previous reports suggested that Konerko was asking for $15 million per season, while the White Sox were hoping to sign him for closer to the $12 million he earned in 2010 and use the money saved on bullpen help.
Arizona and Baltimore have expressed interest in Konerko, but the assumption has been that he’d give Chicago the right to match any offer he receives.
The Reds picked up outfielders Mason Williams and Rosell Herrera on minor league deals, MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon reports. Both Williams and Herrera will receive invites to spring training and could compete for backup outfield roles behind Adam Duvall, Billy Hamilton and Scott Schebler.
Williams, 26, completed a three-year track with the Yankees in 2017. He has yet to see a full season of playing time, however, and went 4-for-17 with two stolen bases during a five-game span with the club in 2017. While not a power hitter, his speed and steady contact rate produced a .263/.309/.318 batting line over 437 plate appearances in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, including two home runs, three triples and 19 stolen bases.
Herrera, 25, has yet to make his big league debut. After seven years in the Rockies’ system, he finally reached Triple-A Albuquerque in 2017 and slashed .278/.351/.394 with three home runs and 20 stolen bases in 363 PA. He looks most comfortable in the left field corner, but has some experience at shortstop and third base and should give the Reds a nice utility option come spring.