ChiSox sign Dunn to four years, $56M

The Chicago White Sox agreed terms with free-agent slugger Adam Dunn on a four-year, $56 million deal.

And if the team is going to re-sign free-agent first baseman Paul Konerko, it might need to happen soon.

The Sox are anxiously awaiting a “read” from Konerko on what he desires in his next contract, sources say.

The team is pursuing options in addition to Dunn, and White Sox officials are concerned they will miss out on opportunities while waiting for Konerko, sources say.

Konerko’s agent, Craig Landis, told that he plans to speak with the White Sox next week at the winter meetings in Orlando, Fla.

The team, in addition to pursuing Konerko, Dunn and catcher A.J. Pierzynski in free agency, also is in engaging in advanced trade discussions, according to sources.

One candidate to move: Right fielder Carlos Quentin, who stands to earn about $5 million in arbitration but is not eligible for free agency until after the 2012 season.

The Phillies and Cardinals both have been linked to Quentin in published reports. The White Sox likely are looking for bullpen help — and payroll flexibility.

Konerko is coming off a five-year, $60 million contract with the Sox. He may want to play closer to his home in Scottsdale, Ariz., but the Diamondbacks consider him “out of reach” even at a reduced salary, a source said.

The White Sox possibly could sign both Konerko and Dunn, but not without a major payroll increase or a trade of another of their highest-paid players, left-hander Mark Buehrle.

Buerhle, 31, is scheduled to earn $14 million next season in the final year of his current contract. He has a full no-trade clause. If traded, he is guaranteed a $15 million salary for 2012.

Each of those factors — in addition to the fact that Buehrle is one of the most popular figures in recent White Sox history — would make it difficult for general manager Ken Williams to move the ace left-hander.