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White Sox and Paul Konerko agree to terms on one-year contract

CHICAGO - The Chicago White Sox and first baseman/designated hitter Paul Konerko have agreed to terms on a one-year, $2.5-million contract. Under terms of the deal, the six-time American League All-Star will receive $1.5 million in 2014 and $1 million in 2021. Under terms of his previous contract signed on December 8, 2010, Konerko will receive $1 million annually from 2014-2020.

Konerko, 37, batted .244 (114-467) with 12 home runs and 54 RBI in 126 games in 2013, his 15th season with the White Sox. He owns a career .281 (2,297-8,185) average with 402 doubles, 434 home runs, 1,390 RBI and 1,147 runs scored in 2,268 games over 17 major-league seasons with the Dodgers (1997-98), Cincinnati (1998) and White Sox (1999-2013).

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"Paul Konerko has been an extremely important member of our lineup and presence in our clubhouse since his arrival in Chicago," said Rick Hahn, White Sox senior vice president/general manager. "Paul needed time this fall to step away, think about his situation, and reach his own conclusions. We are very pleased that he has decided to come back for another season. 

"As Robin Ventura and I discussed with him when we met in November, Paul will play an important role on the 2014 team by collecting at-bats as the designated hitter against certain left-handed pitching, by assisting Jose Abreu's transition into the role of primary first baseman, as an option for Robin off the bench in specific game situations, and as an incredibly important mentor and leader within our clubhouse."

"I'm looking forward to coming back in a new role where I can help both the organization and my teammates get turned around in the right direction and also do some productive things on the field," Konerko said.

Konerko's 434 home runs rank fifth among active players and are tied with Juan Gonzalez and Andruw Jones for 42nd place in major-league history. His 1,390 RBI are sixth among active players and 75th all-time.

Konerko ranks second in White Sox history in home runs (427), RBI (1,361), total bases (3,944) and games played (2,187) and third in hits (2,249) and doubles (398). He needs five total bases and 21 homers to tie the franchise records held by Frank Thomas. Konerko's 13 seasons of 20 or more homers are a franchise record, and his 10 grand slams are tied with Robin Ventura for the club mark.

He helped the White Sox win the 2005 World Series, the franchise's first in 88 years, by hitting .265 (13-49) with five home runs and 15 RBI during an 11-1 playoff run, including a go-ahead grand slam in Game 2 of the Fall Classic vs. Houston.

Konerko was acquired by the Sox from Cincinnati on November 10, 1998.

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