Sergio Santos, who saved 30 games for the White Sox in just his third year since converting from the infield to the mound, was given a three-year, $8.25 million deal on Friday.
It looks like a bargain for the White Sox, who turned to Santos in the ninth after Matt Thornton’s shaky start this season. Santos is still a year away from arbitration, but the deal will take care of his first two arbitration seasons and it includes options through 2017.
Santos will receive $1 million next season, $2.75 million in 2013 and $3.75 million in 2014. The options are for $6 million in 2015, $8 million in 2016 and $8.75 million in 2017. The reliever will get a $750,000 buyout if any of those options are declined.
So, Santos will earn a total of $7.5 million for his third, fourth and fifth years in the big leaguers. Bobby Jenks, the team’s previous closer, earned $13.5 million over that same timeframe, demonstrating just how much the White Sox stand to save here if Santos remains a quality closer.
And Santos figures to remain a force at the end of games. He’s still learning how to pitch, but that didn’t stop him from striking out 92 and limiting hitters to a .181 average as a sophomore.
In 115 big-league innings, Santos has a 3.29 ERA and a 148/55 K/BB ratio.