CHICAGO WHITE SOX
FREE AGENTS: 1B/DH Paul Konerko, RHP Gavin Floyd, RHP Matt Lindstrom (club option)
The Sox will have two decisions in free agency, starting with picking up the $4 million club option for Lindstrom. But all eyes will be on Konerko and the decision coming from the team captain. Konerko could retire or may play one more year. The big decision for the Sox will be if he does play one more year will it be on the South Side? With 1B Jose Abreu signing with Chicago, Konerko almost certainly is headed elsewhere unless the White Sox can unload DH Adam Dunn and the $15 million he is owed for next year.
FREE AGENTS: RHP Matt Albers, DH Jason Giambi, LHP Rich Hill, RHP Ubaldo Jimenez (mutual option), LHP Scott Kazmir, OF Jason Kubel (club option), C Kelly Shoppach, RHP Joe Smith
Jimenez has an $8 million mutual option for 2014 with a $1 million buyout. The Indians clearly will have to offer him a multiyear deal to keep him in Cleveland. Kubel has a $7.5 million club option for 2014 with a $1 million buyout. His status could depend on whether the Indians re-sign Giambi, which is not out of the question. Kazmir, like Jimenez, is a valued piece of the rotation whom the Indians would have to offer a multiyear deal in order to keep. Smith was the club's best reliever the past five years, and he could be a closer candidate next year. It could be a challenge for the Indians to re-sign him, because he might get some attractive offers in the market place. The Indians will attempt to bring back Albers, who had a quietly effective year as a bullpen workhorse, which endears him to manager Terry Francona. Hill is a fringe reliever who did not pitch well this year. The Indians may feel they can do better.
FREE AGENTS: LHP Jose Alvarez, RHP Joaquin Benoit, RHP Jeremy Bonderman, RHP Octavio Dotel, 2B Omar Infante, C Brayan Pena, SS/LF Jhonny Peralta, INF Ramon Santiago, LF Matt Tuiasosopo
Detroit would like to retain Benoit and Infante but both may get better offers elsewhere. Dotel won't return and is expected to retire. Pena might be back and Alvarez will probably be offered a minor league deal. Peralta doesn't fit and would be too expensive to be a backup. Santiago and Tuiasosopo are likely to be allowed to leave.
KANSAS CITY ROYALS
FREE AGENTS: RHP Ervin Santana, LHP Bruce Chen, INF Jamey Carroll, INF Miguel Tejada, 1B Carlos Pena, RHP James Shields (club option)
There is no doubt the Royals want Santana back, but whether they will be able to come close to matching other high-dollar offers he is certain to receive remains a key question. They certainly will make a qualifying one-year offer, so to receive a high draft pick in return if he signs with another club. Chen would like to remain in Kansas City and the Royals would like to have him back, but at what price? Carroll, who turns 40 on Feb. 18, won't be back. The Royals have no interest in bringing back Pena on a big-league contract. Tejada, who finished the 2013 season on a PED suspension, is unlikely to be back in the majors.
FREE AGENTS: RHP Nick Blackburn, RHP Mike Pelfrey
Pelfrey should be a priority signing for the Twins since he will be a season removed from Tommy John surgery, he got stronger as the season went on and he wants to return to Minnesota. He may want a multi-year deal, which might be tough to swallow for the rebuilding Twins, but they will need his veteran leadership. Blackburn spent the entire season in minor leagues recovering from a couple injuries. If he comes back it will have to be at a significantly reduced price from his previous deal ($3.5 million per season). Blackburn's time as a Twin may be done.