Paul Konerko will start his final ride in 2014

Paul Konerko will return to the Chicago White Sox in 2014, signing a one-year deal worth $2.5 million (though $1 million is deferred). After the signing, Konerko then stated that 2014 would be his last season in the majors, as expected.

Konerko's role for his final year will be extremely limited – part-time DH against left-handers and backup first baseman. After all, the White Sox did just sign Cuban slugger Jose Abreu to a six-year, $68 million contract and they're not going to pay Adam Dunn $15 million to not play at all, right? The limited role is probably the best for everyone involved. Dunn has never been able to hit lefties over his career (.218/.337/.435, and much worse in his three years in Chicago), and Konerko actually mashed left-handers during his lost 2013 (.313/.398/.525 with five of his 12 home runs in just 113 plate appearances).

No matter what happens for Konerko and the White Sox in 2014, his position in team history is secure. He'll end his career second in games played, behind just Hall of Famer Luke Appling. Only Appling and another Hall of Famer, Nellie Fox, will have logged more at bats in the black and white than Konerko. Konerko will likely end up fourth in team history in runs scored behind Frank Thomas, Appling, and Fox, but he could pass Fox if he earns more playing time. Only Appling and Fox have more hits as a South Sider than Konerko.

But the real goal for Konerko will be to end his career as Chicago's best power hitter. He's five total bases from passing Thomas for the most all-time in club history, and could do that in the first game of the year. He's 21 homers shy of tying Thomas for the most in team history, and that's a benchmark that Konerko has reached in 13 of his 15 seasons in pinstripes. Konerko has had an amazing career with the White Sox, and even though it's coming to a close, there's still work yet to be done.

About Joe Lucia

I hate your favorite team. I also sort of hate most of my favorite teams.