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White Sox unsure if Paul Konerko plans to retire or play

Paul Konerko

Chicago White Sox’s Paul Konerko reacts after striking out during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays, Tuesday, May 29, 2012, in St. Petersburg, Fla. The White Sox won 7-2. (AP Photo/Mike Carlson)

AP

White Sox general manager Rick Hahn recently met with free agent Paul Konerko and made it clear that he’d welcome the 38-year-old first baseman back in a part-time role.

However, during an interview with WSCR-AM radio in Chicago team chairman Jerry Reinsdorf revealed that the White Sox still “have no idea” if Konerko even plans to continue playing:

I have no idea. It’s truly Paul’s option. He has earned the right to come back if he wants to come back. He’s been the most popular player over the last 15 years that we’ve had. … He’s basically a White Sox lifer. He’s a terrific teammate. He’s our captain and he just has to make a decision whether he wants to come back or not.

At some point the White Sox will presumably need an answer from Konerko so they can move on with their offseason one way or another, although if he’d truly be returning in a part-time bench role perhaps timing isn’t that important.

Konerko hit .244 with 12 homers and a .669 OPS in 126 games for the worst OPS of his career and the White Sox signed Cuban slugger Jose Abreu to play first base while also having Adam Dunn at designated hitter.

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