Seems crazy. Seems like, based on his age and a batting line of .244/.313/.355 last season that Paul Konerko is kaput. But Rick Morrissey argues that, even if Konerko is finished, the Sox should sign him. For old time’s sake:
There is no measure from 2013 that would make you want Konerko on your roster, not at his age (he’ll turn 38 during spring training) and not with the nagging injuries that always seem to be tugging at him. He went .244/.313/.355 last season. The metrics crowd would suggest euthanasia is in order. But Konerko has meant so much to this franchise, and that’s why the Sox are leaving his return up to him … What does Konerko bring to the table? Wrong question. What has he brought to the table? Better.
Morrissey adds that we should take into account the fact that Konerko is a good leader in that he talked to the media every day so his teammates didn’t have to. And that he’s well thought-of in the organization and among his teammates.
All of which is a great argument to make Konerko a coach. Nowhere, however, is there a half-decent argument in there to bring him back as a first baseman.
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.