White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson has played only one season in the big leagues. It was a good season, though, as the rookie hit .283/.306/.432 (OPS+ 102) with nine homers and ten stolen bases in 99 games.
As Bill mentioned last night, he and the White Sox were reported to be in talks about a long term deal. A few minutes ago Ken Rosenthal reported that a deal had been struck:
UPDATE: Bob Nightengale reports that the deal is six-years, $25 million. That is close to the record for a contract given to a player with less than a year of service time. Chris Archer received a $25.5 million deal after the 2013 season, though it had some contingencies in it regarding his Super Two status that could’ve brought it down lower. This may be the largest guaranteed deal for a player with such little service time.
The White Sox selected Anderson in the first round — 17th overall — in the 2013 draft. He was a consensus top-100 prospect going into the 2015 season and was a consensus top-50 heading into last season, even earning a No. 19 overall ranking from Baseball Prospectus.
Royals outfielder Jorge Soler has been diagnosed with a strained oblique, making it likely that he begins the regular season on the disabled list, Rustin Dodd of The Kansas City Star reports.
The Royals acquired Soler from the Cubs in December in exchange for reliever Wade Davis. Over parts of three seasons with the Cubs, Soler hit .258/.328/.434 with 27 home runs and 98 RBI in 765 plate appearances.
When he’s healthy, Soler is expected to find himself in the Royals’ lineup as a right fielder and occasionally as a designated hitter.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Cardinals and catcher Yadier Molina are making “major progress” on a contract extension. Molina told the team he won’t discuss an extension during the season, hence the rapid progress.
Molina is entering the last guaranteed year of a five-year, $75 million contract signed in March 2012. He and the Cardinals hold a mutual option worth $15 million with a $2 million buyout for the 2018 season. The new extension would presumably cover at least the 2018-19 seasons and likely ’20 as well.
Molina is 34 years old but is still among the most productive catchers in baseball. Last season, he hit .307/.360/.427 with 38 doubles, 58 RBI, and 56 runs scored in 581 plate appearances. Though he has lost a step or two with age, Molina is still well-regarded for his defense. The Cardinals also value his ability to handle the pitching staff.