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.