White Sox prospect Eloy Jimenez likely to file service time manipulation grievance

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White Sox prospect Eloy Jimenez is clearly ready for the big leagues.

He’s hitting .365/.406/.604 with 11 home runs and 32 RBI in 51 games at Triple-A Charlotte. Before that he hit .317/.368/.556 with 10 homers and 42 RBI in 53 games for Double-A Birmingham. There is clearly no one in the minors to challenge him, so the major leagues are next, right?

Not yet. The White Sox, you see, are doing what most clubs do with their top prospects: they’re manipulating his service time in order to push back his eventual free agency. Oh, they won’t say they’re doing that. They say stuff like White Sox GM Rick Hahn said to the Chicago Tribune the other day when the topic of Jimenez’s readiness for promotion came up:

Hahn said recently stats don’t tell everything about whether a player is ready, and all “boxes” need to be checked.

“While you can look at a stat line or you can look at a box score and say, ‘This guy looks like he’s doing well, looks like he’s ready,’ our checklist that we want these guys to answer is a little more lengthy than that,” Hahn said. “And not until they’ve answered all those questions we have for them at the minor-league level will we promote them.”

Saying such things — instead of telling the truth — is all an executive needs to do in order to avoid losing a grievance. Yet, Jon Heyman reports today, Jimenez may very well be doing that anyway, with his agent Paul Kinzer saying that “Eventually, you’ll probably have to add us to the list.” Meaning the list of players who have filed service time grievances, such as Kris Bryant ant Maikel Franco.

Jimenez won’t win. The current CBA makes it all but impossible for a player to win such a case unless the club does something monumentally stupid like issue a public statement saying “man, we’d love to have him on our club, but we’d really like to save some money!” Heck, even then I don’t know that a case is winnable. The standard is “bad faith” and I presume that even if an executive said something like that if, by the time a grievance got heard, he changed his tune and coughed something out about the player’s “mental preparedness” it’d carry the day.

I do know this much, though: as is usually the case, most of you will put on the front office jersey in this instance and say “hey, the White Sox are only being smart here!” Which no one can plausibly deny, given how narrow a consideration being “smart” is in this case. Very few of you, however, will make the case that this is right in a broader sense. Probably because such a case cannot be made.

Brian Cashman signs 4-year contract to remain Yankees GM

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SAN DIEGO — Brian Cashman has signed a four-year contract to remain the New York Yankees Senior Vice President and General Manager. The announcement was made during the first day of baseball’s Winter Meetings.

Cashman, New York’s GM since 1998, had been working on a handshake agreement since early November, when his five-year contract expired.

The Yankees were swept by four games in the AL Championship Series and haven’t reached the World Series since winning in 2009. It is the franchise’s longest title drought since an 18-year gap between 1978-96.

Cashman’s main goal during the offseason is trying to re-sign AL MVP Aaron Judge.

Judge hit an American League-record 62 homers this season with a .311 batting average and 131 RBIs. He turned down the Yankees’ offer on the eve of opening day of a seven-year contract that would have paid $213.5 million from 2023-29.

While Judge remains on the market, Cashman was able to re-sign Anthony Rizzo on Nov. 15 to a two-year contract worth $40 million after turning down a $16 million player option.

Cashman has been the Yankees general manager since 1998. He has been with the organization since 1986, when he was a 19-year old intern in the scouting department. In his 25 seasons as GM, the Yankees have reached the postseason 21 times, including four World Series championships and six American League titles.