White Sox “have no choice” but to pursue other options after Paul Konerko contract talks stall

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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.

White Sox won’t make bid for Bryce Harper

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The White Sox won’t make a bid for free agent outfielder Bryce Harper, Bruce Levine of 670 The Score reports. Believed to be the favorites to land shortstop Manny Machado in free agency, the White Sox watched him ink a 10-year, $300 million contract with the Padres. The club is apparently content with its roster otherwise.

Harper would certainly be an upgrade in the outfield, which currently features Adam Engel, Nicky Delmonico, and Jon Jay. It will soon feature prospects Eloy Jiménez and Luis Robert.

Last season, Harper hit .249/.393/.496 with 34 hom eruns, 100 RBI, 103 runs scored, and 13 stolen bases in 695 plate appearances. He led all of baseball, drawing 130 walks. Harper is also a six-time All-Star who won the 2012 NL Rookie of the Year Award and the 2015 NL Most Valuable Player Award.

The Phillies are still believed to be the favorites to sign Harper and the club is confident it will land him, Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Daily News reports.