The Baltimore Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec reports that free agent 1B Paul Konerko has turned down the Orioles’ proposed 5 year, $65 million deal. The Chicago Tribune’s Mark Gonzalez writes that Konerko, who lives in Scottsdale, would prefersigning with a club that has their spring training in Arizona.
Both the White Sox and Angels fit such a requirement, though there is speculation the White Sox are worried about Konerko’s health.
One unnamed Sox official was leery of extending an offer to Konerko, 29, to a fifth year because of an arthritic hip condition.
Neither White Sox GM Ken Williams nor Craig Landis, Konerko’s agent, returned telephone messages. Some Sox officials, however, were privately upset that Konerko’s hip condition became public.
Although not known for his speed, Konerko’s durability hasn’t been an issue since he joined the Sox before the 1999 season. He hasn’t been on the disabled list since April 1997 with the Dodgers’ Triple-A Albuquerque affiliate.
Konerko has played in 151 games or more in four of the past five seasons, including a season-high 158 in 2005. Konerko’s only noticeable injury during the 2005 season was a stiff lower back that caused him to miss two games in August against the New York Yankees.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s TR Sullivan writes the Texas Rangers have made an offer to former Astros/A’s/Mets reliever Octavio Dotel, and their shopping list might also include Braden Looper.
Metsblog notes that the Sporting News’ Ken Rosenthal — having a pretty amazing off-season of his own — pointed out that Cliff Floyd has a no-trade clause in his Mets contract that precludes his being dealt to Boston. So that’s one less bargaining chip for a potential Manny Ramirez trade.
MLB Trade Rumors.com is fanning the flames behind a Brad Wilkerson for Ronny Cedeno swap between the Cubs and Nationals. Which means this is as good a time as any to congratulate Roger Cedeno on receiving no speeding tickets recently (that we know of).