This offseason Paul Konerko seriously considered signing with the Diamondbacks, in large part to be closer to his family, but ultimately decided to re-sign with the White Sox for $37.5 million over three years.
With the White Sox heading to Arizona for an interleague series that begins tonight Konerko told Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune that he doesn’t regret the decision:
When you make a decision like that you have to know you made the right decision at that moment, especially with all the information in front of you. If that means you had a bad year, the team didn’t do well, the team you were supposed to go to does great, you have to make a commitment to not judge a decision … comparing it to what you could have had.
If you’re going to do that, you have to do that as the whole body of that contract. It would have to be three years from now. And you can never play that game because you never know if it would have worked out had you gone to the other place. Who knows?
In other words, the Diamondbacks (38-32) actually have a better record than the White Sox (33-37), but we’re not even halfway through the first season of a three-year deal and Konerko is playing very well, hitting a career-high .321 with 16 homers and a .945 OPS through 67 games.
Meanwhile, instead of paying huge money to Konerko the Diamondbacks went with a cheap platoon of Juan Miranda and Xavier Nady at first base and rank 11th among NL teams with a .741 OPS from the position.
Free agent right-hander Tim Lincecum isn’t ready to hang up his cleats just yet. At least, that’s the word from Lincecum’s agent, Rick Thurman, who says the 32-year-old is still “throwing and getting ready for the season” (via Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News).
Lincecum may not be ready to enter retirement, but another quote from Thurman suggests that he’ll be picky about where he pitches next. He doesn’t appear open to pitching overseas, and despite not having a contract for 2017 (or even any serious suitors), the right-hander is set on pitching in the big leagues this year. Whether or not he’s willing to take a bullpen role to do so remains to be seen.
While Baggarly predicts some interest in the veteran righty, there’s not much in Lincecum’s recent history to inspire faith in him as a starter, or even a reliever. He picked up a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Angels following his hip surgery in 2015, and went 2-6 in 2016 with a 9.16 ERA, 5.4 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 over 38 1/3 innings. At this point, a minor league contract seems like the surest path back to major league success, though he’s unlikely to find an open spot on the Giants’ or Angels’ rosters anytime soon.
Free agent right-hander Jeff Manship has reportedly signed with the NC Dinos of the Korea Baseball Organization, according to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The righty was non-tendered by the Indians in December.
Manship, 32, completed his second season with Cleveland in 2016. He delivered a 3.12 ERA, 4.6 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 rate over 43 1/3 innings, a slight decline after posting an 0.92 ERA with the club the year before. During eight years in the major leagues, Manship carries a 4.82 career ERA, 3.6 BB/9 and 6.4 SO/9 in multiple stints with the Twins, Rockies, Phillies and Indians.
The right-hander will be joined by fellow MLB transplants Eric Hacker and Xavier Scruggs, each of whom took one-year deals with the Dinos last month. Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors notes that each KBO team is allowed up to three foreign players, so Manship will round out the trio when he joins the roster. Any salary terms have yet to be disclosed.