Multiple reporters are saying that the White Sox are in agreement on a 6-8 year extension with top outfield prospect Eloy Jimenez. The exact details are a tad unclear at the moment, but it looks like a six-year deal for $43 million with two team option years on top of that.
Jimenez is considered to be one of the top 3-4 prospects in all of baseball. He raked in the minors last year, hitting .337/.384/.577 between Double-A Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte. A week ago the Sox optioned him back to Triple-A Charlotte in a move that, given how thin the White Sox’ big league roster is, was perceived my many to be a service time manipulation thing. Arguing against that was the fact that Jimenez had struggled this spring. Either way, it’s rather academic now. Whether he gets some more time in Charlotte to work on things or finds himself in the Sox’ big league outfield in March or April, he’ll be paid the same for it.
Like any of these deals, if Jimenez becomes the star many expect him to be, the White Sox will have successfully used their leverage over the team-controlled player to get a bargain. If he flames out due to injury or simply and unexpectedly fails to become a regular major leaguer, he will have secured his financial future. The tradeoffs are the tradeoffs and they are the product of the rules in play.
Nationals starter Max Scherzer bunted a ball into his face during batting practice on Tuesday, breaking his nose in the process. He ended up with a gnarly looking shiner around his right eye, making him appear a bit like Terminator. Scherzer still took the ball to start the second game of Wednesday night’s doubleheader against the Phillies.
Despite the injury, Scherzer was incredibly effective, limiting the Phillies to four hits and two walks across seven shutout innings, striking out 10 batters in the process. He might even have had some extra adrenaline going, as he averaged 96.2 MPH on his fastball, his highest average fastball velocity in a game since September 2012, per MLB.com’s Jamal Collier. The Nationals provided Scherzer with just one run of support, coming on a Brian Dozier solo home run off of Jake Arrieta in the second inning, but it was enough.
Wander Suero worked a scoreless top of the eighth with a pair of strikeouts. Victor Robles added a solo homer off of Pat Neshek in the bottom half. Closer Sean Doolittle took over in the ninth, working a 1-2-3 frame to give the Nats their 2-0 victory.
Over his last six starts, Scherzer now has a 0.88 ERA with a 59/8 K/BB ratio across 41 innings. He has gone six innings, struck out at least nine batters, and held the opposition to two or fewer runs in each of those six starts.