Analysis

White Sox Move Early on Shortstop of the Future, Reach a Six-Year, $25M Extension with Tim Anderson

The White Sox have reportedly locked up their shortstop of the future this morning, reaching a new extension with second-year shortstop Tim Anderson, worth a reported $25 Million dollars over six seasons.

On Monday afternoon Scott Merkin of MLB.com reported that the Chicago White Sox were working on a contract extension for second-year shortstop Tim Anderson, this morning Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports confirmed that the club had come to terms with Anderson on a new extension, worth $25 million dollars over the course of six seasons.

According to Nightengale, the deal also has two club options for a seventh and eight season that would increase the total value of the deal to $51 million dollars if the White Sox exercise both options, meaning that Anderson could be with the White Sox through his age 31 season when it’s all said and done.

Anderson made mention earlier in camp that he would love to play his entire career in Chicago, and even went as far as saying that he would like to one day have a Michael Jordan type impact on the city of Chicago, and today the second-year shortstop clearly showed that he was serious about his desire.

While the White Sox have shown a good track record of extending players still inside of their club-controlled seasons, this deal was by far the friendliest of team friendly deals to this point.

In the spring of 2013 the White Sox extended starting pitcher Chris Sale, inking the lanky southpaw to a five year extension worth $32 million dollars, and while they eventually traded Sale this past winter, his team friendly deal was a motivating factor for the Red Sox to cough up the number one prospect in baseball at the time of the trade.

The very next spring, in 2014 the White Sox reached an extension with current staff ace Jose Quintana worth $21 million dollars over five seasons. The White Sox then gave Adam Eaton a five year, $23.5 million dollar deal in the spring of 2015, much like Sale, a large factor in his trade value this past winter.

The Anderson signing is different though, Anderson, in signing this deal this morning, ensured that he will be the face of the White Sox organization for the foreseeable future. Anderson, 23, has made plenty of mention in regards to both his excitement about the rebuild taking place, as well as his desire to be a leader in the clubhouse as the White Sox transition into a new organizational direction.

Anderson hit .283 over the course of 99 games for the White Sox in 2016 during his rookie campaign, totaling 37 extra-base hits and 10 stolen bases.

The speedy shortstop not only showed flashes of his immense potential coming to fruition in 2016, he also showed the ability to make significant adjustments on a day-to-day basis. As opposing teams built scouting reports on the young shortstop, he adapted. All the while Anderson turned in an impressive defensive campaign at the shortstop position, a negative mark against him by many scouts standards during his minor league career.

If Anderson reaches his potential during the life of this deal, this will be the most beneficial team friendly deal that Rick Hahn and company have been able to put together to date. The current average AAV for a major-league shortstop is $7.3 million dollars, and Anderson’s new deal has an AAV of roughly $4.16 million dollars per season.

Anderson is only scheduled to make his current salary of $850,000 this season, with the new deal starting in 2018 according to Nightengale’s report this morning.

As of today, there are 16 shortstops in major-league baseball making more than Anderson is set to make, with the highest paid shortstop in 2017 being Troy Tulowitzki of the Toronto Blue Jays. Tulowitzki will make $15.7 million dollars for the 2017 season. Tulowitzki barely outperformed Anderson production wise in 2016, while playing 32 more games than Anderson, and hitting .30 points lower than Anderson.

Of course, Anderson could get hurt or even fail to reach his full potential during the life of this deal, and even at that point, the deal will still be a contract that the White Sox could easily live with or move in a trade.

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By comparison, in terms of White Sox contracts with shortstops, from 2011-2015 the White Sox paid former shortstop Alexei Ramirez $33.6 million dollars, nearly $9 million dollars more than what they will pay Anderson throughout the life of the extension.

Anderson also becomes the recipient of the most lucrative contract given to a player with less than one year’s service time in MLB history. The deal is reported to be made official this afternoon by the club, with a press conference likely this afternoon as well.

 

 

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