The Chicago White Sox board of directors meets today with two proposals for purchase of the club to consider, now that the American League has rejected Ed DeBartolo, and the price could set a baseball record.

The Sox could go for more than the all-time high $21.1 million paid for the New York Mets last year -- and, funny thing, Dave Winfield would cost more than the whole Chicago franchise if The New York Times is right about his playing contract with the Yankees, provided inflation continues to rampage.

Winfield has an annual cost-of-living increase written into a 10-year contract, says the Times, which presumes a first-year base of $1.5 million and yearly salary raises of the maximum 10 percent (quite a presumption, that). "Then," says the newspaper, "compounding the totals annually, he would make $3,536,921 in the 10th season. The total for 10 years would be $23,906,134. With a signing bonus, reported to be $1 million, the total comes to about $25 million."

The White Sox: Chicagoans Jerry Reinsdorf and Bill Farley appeared set to land the team for $20 million as the week dawned but, whoa. Harry Newberger, a Chicago trucking magnate, has gotten up a four-member combine said to be offering a guaranteed $22 million. Newberger went over the top by ringing in Socrates Babacas, a Springfield, Mass., businessman who told the Chicago Sun-Times he already has his manager: Don Drysdale. . .

The Mets poured a few more dollars into their building effort yesterday, following up Monday's Randy Jones acquisition by signing 18-year vet Rusty Staub, a star of the 1973 pennant Mets who hit .300 for Texas this year; three years for a reported $1 million "plus some incentives". . . New York's George Steinbrenner and Boston's Haywood Sullivan presumably seized on the occasion of the Elston Howard funeral in New York yesterday to talk further about a Yank-Red Sox deal centering on Fred Lynn and Ron Guidry. . . A half-dozen Hall of Famers were among 40 baseball dignitaries serving as honorary pallbearers at the Howard funeral in New York's Riverside Church, followed by burial at the George Washington Cemetery in Paramus, N.J. "No one," Whitey Ford eulogized, "exemplified Yankee pride more than he did". . .

Peter Gregg, the all-time leading winner on the International Motor Sports Association GT championship circuit, was an extremely troubled man, a perfectionist recently under psychiatric treatment, associates say in the wake of his suicide. "The world was eating him," said Hurley Haywood, racing teammate. Gregg, 40, found shot among the sand dunes near Ponte Vedra, Fla., Monday, left a note to his former wife, their two children, an associate in an auto dealership -- and his second wife, whom he wed only Dec. 6. "I have done all I want to do," wrote the alumnus of Harvard and Naval Air Intelligence. . .

Northwestern has hired Doug Single, 29, as athletic director and raised speculation that Single, leaving as associate a.d. at Stanford, might bring in the Big Ten's first black head coach. This would be Dennis Green, 31, former Iowa athlete currently offensive coordinator at Stanford. . .

Memphis State coaxed Rex Dockery out of the two years remaining on his five-year Texas Tech contract with a fatter five-year football coaching pact. . . Don Lindsey, defensive coordinator at Southern California, is setting up options based on whichever way USC Coach John Robinson goes. Lindsey visited Arkansas and told Lou Holtz that if he (Lindsey) doesn't get a chance in the pros and if USC doesn't offer him the head job, he will coordinate defense for Holtz's Razorbacks in 1981. Robinson is prominently mentioned as a prospective 1981 NFL head coach. Surely not the Redskins of former fellow L.A. denizen Jack Kent Cooke?

Surely not the New Orleans Saints, where Archie Manning says he must give some thought to retirement. . .

Redskins? John Riggins on the phone with a Norfolk newshound: "I suppose I am responsible in a way (for the team's flop). But then again, whoever is responsible for telling me to jump in the lake is the guilty party. . . Bobby Beathard prides himself on knowing talent. But Bobby's problem is he doesn't know value. I suppose anybody with any sense of logic would have to deduce that they were the same team as last year except for one player". . .

In the disputed Nov. 23 fumble case, Chicago Bear General Manager Jim Finks now has been soaked $2,000 by Pete Rozelle for sounding off.

Soccer. First-round choice in the NASL draft: John Stollmeyer, all-Met midfielder for Annandale's Jefferson High; by Tampa Bay.