As far as Konerko is concerned, money is not the sole factor in this next phase of his career.
“It’s about the game,” Konerko said. “It’s not so much about the contract or the years or the money. It could be that I get more here and don’t come back. You know, I got a family to think about. I got, you know, how do I fit in on a team?
“There’s a lot of things that go into it. It’s not about I’ve made a lot of money in this game, and it’s not all about that. At the same time, when it gets to those situations, it’s always been that the player has to take the discount, never the team going above to get him back. You see it from all angles.
“Just to say I’ll take a discount, I would never say anything like that. And I’m telling you it could be a better deal than anyone else’s and I decide to go somewhere else because of what I’m feeling for myself and everybody involved in that moment. That’s the honest truth.”
Merkin also says that:
That last free-agent agreement for Konerko worked out to $60 million over five years. He certainly held up his end of the bargain and then some during that time, serving as the pragmatic conscience of manager Ozzie Guillen both on the field and in the clubhouse.
Here’s Fangraphs’ value section of Konerko’s entry. His performance over the last 5 years is valued at $57.7 million.
UPDATE: Brett Ballantini says Konerko’s comments were “not entirely encouraging for White Sox fans.”