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.
NEW YORK — Stephen Strasburg‘s status for 2023 is up in the air after a series of injuries that limited him to one start this season, Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said.
“It’s still a little bit of a mystery,” Rizzo said about the 2019 World Series MVP before the Nationals were scheduled to play a doubleheader at the New York Mets. “I know that he’s working hard strengthening his core and the other parts of his body. We’re just going to have to see. With the type of surgery and rehab that he’s had, it’s unfamiliar to us. It’s unfamiliar to a lot of people. We’re going to have to take it day by day.”
The 34-year-old right-hander has thrown a total of 31 1/3 innings across just eight starts over the past three seasons combined. He had carpal tunnel surgery in 2020, then needed an operation to correct thoracic outlet syndrome in 2021.
After his only start of 2022, he went back on the injured list with a stress reaction of the ribs.
“We’ll have to see where the rehab process takes us later on in the winter,” Rizzo said. “We’re going to monitor him. He’s local, so we’ll see him all the time and we’ll see where he’s at going into spring training mode.”
Strasburg is a three-time All-Star who signed a $245 million contract after helping Washington win a championship in 2019.
He is 113-62 with a 3.24 ERA for his career.
Meeting with reporters toward the end of a rough season – Washington entered with a majors-worst and Nationals-worst record of 55-104 and shipped away the team’s best player, outfielder Juan Soto, at the trade deadline – Rizzo talked about doing “an autopsy of the organization.”
“I look at the season as a disappointment. I’ve always said that you are what your record says you are, and our record says we’re the worst team in the league right now. It’s hard to argue with that,” Rizzo said. “The flip side of that is we’re in a process.”
Rizzo and manager Dave Martinez were given contract extensions during the season. Martinez said his entire coaching staff will return next year.