Chicago offers pitcher arbitration

Updated: December 8, 2003, 2:47 PM ET
Associated Press

CHICAGO -- The Chicago White Sox are going to try and hold onto Bartolo Colon for a little while longer.

The White Sox offered the right-hander arbitration on Sunday night, allowing them to extend negotiations through Jan. 8. Chicago also offered reliever Tom Gordon arbitration.

Gordon has already reached agreement with the New York Yankees on a two-year, $7.25 million deal. But it hasn't been announced, so the White Sox would get a draft pick if Gordon rejects the arbitration offer.

The White Sox declined to offer arbitration to second baseman Roberto Alomar, outfielder Carl Everett, infielder Tony Graffanino and right-hander Scott Sullivan, effectively releasing them.

Chicago general manager Kenny Williams said keeping Colon was one of his priorities this offseason, and he even offered the right-hander a three-year deal he described as the largest ever for a White Sox pitcher. But Colon rejected the offer, said to be worth $36 million, at the end of October.

Though Colon's agent, Mitch Frankel, said the pitcher still wanted to return, Williams said he would have to look in other directions. But with Alomar and Everett gone, the White Sox should have some additional money. Colon made $8.25 million last season.

Colon was only 15-13 with a 3.87 ERA this year, but the White Sox love his durability and consistency. He's a 20-game winner who has reached double-digit victories in six straight seasons. He pitched a career-high nine complete games this year and was second in the AL with 242 innings. His 173 strikeouts also ranked in the top 10.

The 30-year-old Colon is 100-62 with a 3.86 ERA in seven seasons with Cleveland, Montreal and Chicago.

Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press