Williams will get a 2011 budget number in late October and then another projection in November, followed by one as the team goes to the Winter Meetings and then again at the first of the year.
Ultimately, the White Sox might make the best offer to Konerko and Pierzynski within their budgetary parameters, and the players could decide to go elsewhere. Williams already had gone on record to MLB.com concerning his desire to have Konerko retire as a member of the White Sox, and he reiterated that idea on Sunday.
“Let me be clear on something: I think Jerry Reinsdorf and myself and Ozzie Guillen, we’d like to have him back. Let’s be completely clear on that,” Williams said. “Now, whether we can do that or that happens or not with all the variables, I have no clue right now. We are clear with our desires as we sit here today.”
… “Well, as I just told him today, I said, under my tenure at least, he is the classiest player that has put on a uniform,” White Sox general manager Ken Williams said of Konerko, who he spoke to for five minutes in the clubhouse on Sunday. “And I’m not just talking on the field and in this clubhouse. I’m talking outside of the game as well. You’ll never hear me say a disparaging word against Paul Konerko.
“We don’t know how it’s going to play out. There are variables at play we have to go through, to see where we are, project our revenues and how the team fits as a whole. He has some things he has to work through in his mind as well.
“If at the end of the day, even if we are the ones who choose him and he doesn’t choose us, you will never hear out of anyone in the White Sox halls a disrespectful word about Paul Konerko. He is that good of a player, but also that classy of a man.”
Maybe by the Winter Meetings?
“This is tough because most agents want to take their players to the Winter Meetings (Oct. December 6-9 at Orlando) and through the Winter Meetings,” Williams said. “You have a lot of playing to do. There is that tier underneath the top level guys who don’t necessarily have to go to the Winter Meetings. They will get an offer or a deal and they will sign. If you are waiting for that Grade A type guy to be available at the Meetings, you might miss out on other guys who can help you and end up with nothing.
“So, it’s a game of roulette to a certain extent. We’ve experienced it first-hand and it didn’t work out too well the last time we went down that road where we didn’t up with the top guy and a couple of other guys on our list, we lost out on. So, you’ve got to really play those cards well.
“The great thing about it is we have a tremendous relationship with Paul, and I know he’s going to be honest with us and not want to put us in that kind of situation.”