White Sox agree to a multi-year contract extension with prospect Luis Robert

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Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the White Sox and outfield prospect Luis Robert have reached agreement on a six-year, $50 million contract extension with two $20 million club options.

UPDATE: Nightengale has the specific details:

Robert, 22, is one of the top prospects in the game. He hit a combined .328/.376/.624 with 32 home runs, 92 RBI, 36 stolen bases, and 108 runs scored in 122 games between High-A Winston-Salem, Double-A Birmingham, and Triple-A Charlotte. He’s a five-tool guy who projects to be a star.

One has to assume that, by virtue of this deal, the Sox will not go through the motions of saying Robert needs more seasoning in the minors while, in reality, working to manipulate his service time. One can even more safely assume that, if Robert fulfills even a portion of his potential, that he will be a bargain for the White Sox for as many as the next eight years. Such is the leverage a club has over a player at the stage of his career in which Robert currently finds himself.

The business side of this aside, between this and the signings of Yasmani Grandal and Dallas Keuchel and the re-signing of José Abreu, the White Sox have had a busy offseason. With those additions, and with the continued maturation of their young core, they will be a pretty popular pick to make a big move up the standings once the 2020 season starts.

Reds sign Nicholas Castellanos to a four-year deal

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The Cincinnati Reds have signed outfielder Nicholas Castellanos to a multi-year deal. That’s the report from C. Trent Rosecrans and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Jon Morosi of MLB.com was the first to report the Reds as frontrunners. The deal is pending a physical. UPDATE: The deal is four years. Financial terms have yet to be reported.

With Castellanos in the fold the Reds are going to have a lot of outfielders when they hit Goodyear, Arizona in a couple of weeks, with newcomer Shogo Akiyama, Jesse Winkler, Nick Senzel, Aristides Aquino, Travis Jankowski, Scott Schebler, and Rule 5 draftee Mark Payton already on the roster. Senzel was an infielder before last year, of course, so he could move back to the dirt, perhaps taking over short from Freddy Galvis, who could be dealt. Alternatively, the Reds could trade from their newfound outfield surplus.

Castellanos, however, will have left field to himself. While he’s shaky at best with the glove, he had a breakout year at the plate in 2019, hitting .289/.337/.525 overall (OPS+ 121), but slugging at a blistering .321/.356/.646 pace (OPS+ 151) after being traded from the Tigers to the Cubs. In Chicago — rescued from cavernous Comerica Park — his big doubles power turned into big homer power.

Now that he’ll be playing in hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark one can only imagine the damage he’d do.