Sox Offer to Kong, Ozzie wants #2

[Daily Southtown]

"Right now we're in a great position to sign Paul Konerko. We're going to do everything in our power to sign this man," Guillen said Wednesday. "He's great for the city. I don't know about budgets, but if there's one guy we want back, it's Paulie.

"If we have to move a couple guys to do that, trade a couple pitchers, we'll do that. Kenny and (board chairman) Jerry (Reinsdorf) will do everything they can to bring Paulie back."

The Sox made the first move in trying to get Konerko back. Several sources indicated Konerko and his agent, Craig Landis, were sent a four-year, $52 million offer Wednesday.

[Chicago Tribune]

"I want more speed," said Guillen, whose Sox finished third in the AL with 132 stolen bases. "It's not fair to get Scott Podsednik on base, Podsednik on base, Podsednik on base and when the kid doesn't get on base, the heat comes to him.

"Hopefully we can get somebody who can run. I want a second hitter so we can put Iguchi down in the sixth or seventh spot to get more [run production] out of him."

[Sun Times]

With the Sox declining their option on switch-hitting Carl Everett, obtaining a left-handed bat with power will be one of the team's main objectives. Even if Konerko stays, the left-handed bat is a priority, and if he leaves, the new first baseman is likely to bat from the left side.

Rumors circulating at the general managers' meetings have the Sox in the trade market for the Philadelphia Phillies' Jim Thome or the Florida Marlins' Carlos Delgado. But for either of those plans to come to fruition, the current team would have to pick up a hefty chunk of the remaining salary.

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