GM: D-backs won't pursue Paul Konerko

Updated: November 16, 2010, 8:22 PM ET
By Bruce Levine | ESPNChicago.com

ORLANDO -- The Arizona Diamondbacks have recently been rumored as a potential landing spot for free agent first baseman and Scottsdale, Ariz., native Paul Konerko. Arizona GM Kevin Towers, however, told ESPNChicago.com on Tuesday that scenario is probably not going to take place.

"Paul grew up [in Arizona] in the valley," Towers said. "However, I haven't had any discussions with Paul or his agent. He's a great player coming off a great, great year."

Towers was asked if he would talk Craig Landis, Konerko's agent.

"You never want to say never, but we're probably going to address pitching and our bullpen right now," he said.

In another development regarding Konerko on Tuesday, Chicago White Sox general manger Kenny Williams said he was uncertain if the team would make a play to bring back the veteran first baseman or catcher A.J. Pierzynski.

"We are in the process right now of determining whether or not adding to the current mix we have would be the most prudent thing to do and gives us the best chance to win a championship or turning some of our players into young, impact guys," he said. "What we don't want to do is we don't want to be in the middle."

The Konerko-Pierzynski situation is a sensitive one for the White Sox. Both veterans have been integral parts of the team for many years. Konerko spent 12 years with the Sox. Pierzynski has been on the city's South Side for six seasons. Both players are among the last remnants of the 2005 World Series winner -- along with pitchers Mark Buehrle and Bobby Jenks.

Jenks' fait seems to be sealed. If he's not traded by Nov. 24, he will be nontendered by the team and made a free agent.

It's possible Buehrle could end up being the lone survivor of the championship team, and his contract expires after 2011.

"I respect tremendously catchers like A.J. Pierzynski," Williams said. "Guys like him who come to play every single day are not easy to find and guys like Konerko that are leaders and class individuals. At the same time, it's been 10 years in the show now and we've had to say goodbye to some very, very good players. I'm not afraid to do that. But to a large, large degree, it's not in my control. It's in their control to a large degree."

Konerko is coming off one of his best seasons. He hit .312, with 39 homers and 111 RBIs in 2010. Konerko also had a .393 on-base percentage and a .584 slugging percentage in 2010, both career highs.

Pierzynski, after a slow start in 2010, regained his stroke and was a viable offensive contributor in the second half of the season for the White Sox. He hit .270 with 9 homers and 56 RBIs.

Bruce Levine covers baseball for ESPNChicago.com.

Bruce Levine | email

Chicago baseball beat reporter
Bruce Levine has covered sports in Chicago for over 28 years and hosts "Talkin' Baseball," heard Saturday mornings on ESPN 1000.