Report: White Sox nearing deal with Luis Robert

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The White Sox are working on a deal with Cuban outfielder Luis Robert, according to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal. The deal is said to be between $25-30 million, with a final figure somewhere north of $45 million with taxes (via Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan). The White Sox have yet to officially confirm the signing.

The club was rumored to be one of the top three frontrunners to land Robert, Passan wrote on Thursday. Unlike several other suitors, the White Sox have not recently exceeded their international spending limits, allowing them to offer Robert a sizable bonus without incurring exorbitant tax penalties. They’ll be shackled to those penalties on any additional international free agent they sign over the next two years, preventing them from offering a bonus above $300,000.

It’s a prudent move for the White Sox as they push forward with a full-scale rebuild over the next several years. At 19 years old, Robert already profiles as one of the top two international talents on the market, second only to Japanese pitcher/slugger Shohei Otani. His elite power and speed will make him a formidable center fielder and one of the White Sox’ top two prospects alongside rookie third baseman Yoan Moncada.

RHP Fairbanks, Rays agree to 3-year, $12 million contract

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Reliever Pete Fairbanks and the Tampa Bay Rays avoided arbitration when they agreed Friday to a three-year, $12 million contract that could be worth up to $24.6 million over four seasons.

The deal includes salaries of $3,666,666 this year and $3,666,667 in each of the next two seasons. The Rays have a $7 million option for 2026 with a $1 million buyout.

His 2024 and 2025 salaries could increase by $300,000 each based on games finished in the previous season: $150,000 each for 35 and 40.

Tampa Bay’s option price could increase by up to $6 million, including $4 million for appearances: $1 million each for 60 and 70 in 2025; $500,000 for 125 from 2023-25 and $1 million each for 135, 150 and 165 from 2023-25. The option price could increase by $2 million for games finished in 2025: $500,000 each for 25, 30, 35 and 40.

Fairbanks also has a $500,000 award bonus for winning the Hoffman/Rivera reliever of the year award and $200,000 for finishing second or third.

The 29-year-old right-hander is 11-10 with a 2.98 ERA and 15 saves in 111 appearances, with all but two of the outings coming out of the bullpen since being acquired by the Rays from the Texas Rangers in July 2019.

Fairbanks was 0-0 with a 1.13 ERA in 24 appearances last year after beginning the season on the 60-day injured list with a right lat strain.

Fairbanks made his 2022 debut on July 17 and tied for the team lead with eight saves despite being sidelined more than three months. In addition, he is 0-0 with a 3.60 ERA in 12 career postseason appearances, all with Tampa Bay.

He had asked for a raise from $714,400 to $1.9 million when proposed arbitration salaries were exchanged Jan. 13, and the Rays had offered for $1.5 million.

Fairbanks’ agreement was announced two days after left-hander Jeffrey Springs agreed to a $31 million, four-year contract with Tampa Bay that could be worth $65.75 million over five seasons.

Tampa Bay remains scheduled for hearings with right-handers Jason Adam and Ryan Thompson, left-hander Colin Poche, third baseman Yandy Diaz and outfielder Harold Ramirez.