Fans apparently aren't the only ones who like to warm their wintry hands around the Hot Stove. So do baseball general managers. And when they hold a virtual Hot Stove-side chat these days, the chatter turns to another possible deal between the Chicago White Sox and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. According to a Los Angeles Daily News source, "the hot rumor among general managers" is a trade of first baseman Paul Konerko to the Angels, with Howie Kendrick and Ervin Santana the candidates to move to the Midwest. The ears of people hearing such whispers perk up, for at least two reasons:
The Angels have a documented interest in Konerko, for whom they bid fervently as a free agent in the winter of 2005-06. At the time, loyalist Konerko accepted a slightly lower offer to remain with the World Series champion White Sox. The Angels also have a chronicled need for an additional impact bat, the lack of which caused their swift downfalls in their last three postseason appearances. They scored a total of four runs in their sweep by Boston in last October's American League Division Series. So the only significant change since the Angels' last pursuit of Konerko is their general manager, Tony Reagins having succeeded Bill Stoneman, now a consultant to the club. Reagins had an amusingly firm non-comment on a renewed interest in Konerko -- "I definitely can't confirm or deny that" -- without discounting the likelihood that he is working behind the scenes to stir things up again. "Silence doesn't mean were not working hard every day," he said. "We're in here and taking care of the club's business and always looking toward opportunities. I don't think you can dismiss anything. If it makes sense, you take a look at it." Chicago is reportedly also interested in a package that would include Chone Figgins and, in response to a leaky bullpen last season, also seeks relief help. An acquisition of Konerko that would potentially affect both of the Angels' incumbent corner infielders -- first baseman Casey Kotchman and Figgins, penciled in as the starting third baseman -- would greatly alter Los Angeles' projected lineup.
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.