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Konerko Re-signs


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CHICAGO ? (AP) ? Paul Konerko decided to stay with the World Series champion Chicago White Sox, agreeing Wednesday to a $60 million, five-year contract.


The first baseman led the White Sox with 40 homers and 100 RBIs last season, hitting .283. He was MVP of the AL championship series win over the Los Angeles Angels after hitting two homers and seven RBIs. He had a go-ahead grand slam in Game 2 of the World Series sweep over Houston, the first Series title for the White Sox since 1917.


A two-time All-Star, Konerko had an $8.75 million base salary last season, then became a free agent after the Series. Last offseason, Chicago decided not to discuss an extension.


His new deal calls for him to receive $12 million annually. Chicago agreed to a limited no-trade clause that states he can't be dealt to six specified teams without his permission.


Konerko also was courted by the Angels and the Baltimore Orioles.


He ad five homers and 15 RBIs in the postseason as the White Sox swept Boston in the opening round, closed out the Angels in five games as he hit first-inning homers in Games 3 and 4 and then beat the Astros.


Konerko was acquired by the White Sox from Cincinnati in a 1998 trade for Mike Cameron. In seven seasons with the White Sox, Konerko has averaged .283 with 29 home runs and 95 RBI.


Konerko returned just a week after the White Sox acquired Jim Thome from Philadelphia for Aaron Rowand.


Now the White Sox project to have a strong middle of the order, with the right-handed Konerko batting cleanup ahead of the left-handed-swinging Thome. Also a first baseman, Thome is coming off an injury-filled shortened season with the Phillies and figures to be the designated hitter.


Konerko said before the team's World Series victory parade that his preference was to stay in Chicago but that he would make a thorough search of the market.

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Uh, what happens to Frank Thomas? It wasn't as if he was chopped liver last season before he got hurt.



The chances of him being healthy for a full season are about the same as Duke winning the ACC Championship in football.

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