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Konerko's Kost

Bryan Smith, of the Baseball Analysts, writes that with the Angels and Orioles willing to overpay for Konerko the Sox should consider passing and making a deal for Lyle Overbay.

Bryan makes a good case, citing Konerko's defense, limited skill set, and age, all as reasons to send him on his way. Perhaps more importantly, Smith doesn't cite what the Sox will look like in '08, and '09, when Jim Thome will be in his age 38-39 seasons and Konerko will be much less likely to be putting up 40 HR a year. For this reason, I agree that the Sox need to be proactive in looking for a Konerko replacement.

Where I disagree with Smith, however, is on the deal he presents for Overbay.

So, what would I do in Williams shoes? Announce that Konerko has been priced out of your budget at the Winter Meetings, shortly before acquiring Overbay for Brandon McCarthy, Damaso Marte and a prospect (Jerry Owens? Robert Valido?). Then, sign Overbay through his arbitration years, a four-year, $25 million contract, with annual numbers of about $5M, $6, $7 and $7 million.
And this is where giving up Gio in the Thome trade is going to come back to bite the Sox. I don't think the Sox can, or will, part with McCarthy. -- The Brewers are going to want a deal centered around young pitching, and with Gio gone and McCarthy deemed "untouchable," I don't think the Sox have enough bullets to get the deal done.

This is the situation the Sox are stuck with. Do they possibly mortgage their future by letting Konerko walk, and replacing his production by emptying the farm system? Or do they try to win it all again next year with Konerko and Thome back, both of whom figure to be albatrosses on the clubs payroll in just a few years? -- It's a tough decision, and one I'm happy that I'm not making.