Mar 10, 2015; Surprise, AZ, USA; Chicago White Sox infielder Micah Johnson (7) during a spring training baseball game against the Kansas City Royals at Surprise Stadium. The White Sox beat the Royals 6-2. Mandatory Credit: Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports
After Garcia, there aren’t many other pre-arb names out there for the White Sox to look to lock up. I think one player to keep in mind is Johnson. The second baseman has been dominating the Cactus League this spring, and looks on track to break camp as the starting second baseman.
A solid ’15 and ’16, will put Johnson in a position to be extended during the ’16 offseason. It will be interesting to see how the White Sox value speed as that could be Johnson’s greatest asset to the club. Seeing that they just locked up their lead-off man for at least the next five years, Johnson would be a great anchor at the bottom of the line-up, setting the table along with Eaton for the big time sluggers in the middle.
I can already see it. Carlos Rodon joins the rotation at some point in the ’15 season and fuels a playoff fun. After being electric in the playoffs, the No. 3 overall draft pick builds on his success and finishes in the Top 5 in AL Cy Young Award voting in his next two seasons.
Rodon will be the White Sox’s most interesting extension candidate over the next few years
Suddenly, it’s time for Hahn to think about extending the young ace. Granted, Chris Sale is still dominate and maybe the White Sox have Samardzija, but Hahn knows they’ll need to keep Rodon beyond his free agency years to continue the push for sustained success.
That’s when Rodon’s agent Scott Boras theoretically drops this line:
“There’s already been a $300 million hitter (Giancarlo Stanton). With Rodon we’ll be talking about the first $300 million pitcher.”
At this point Rodon will still be a few years away from free agency, but Boras will have his eyes set on an unprecedented payday meaning extension talks with Rodon will be much more tumultuous than the more recent ones we’ve seen the White Sox undergo with other core players.
We’re already seeing this saga starting to play out with another Boras client in SP Jose Fernandez. Fernandez’s camp doesn’t appear ready to accept the six-year, $40 million deal reportedly proposed by the Marlins, and that is even with health questions surrounding Fernandez’s elbow.
Thus, the risk and appeal of job security couldn’t be higher for Fernandez, yet there’s still hesitation.
I can envision a similar scenario taking place with Rodon, and that’s why over the next few years, I think he will be the White Sox’s most interesting extension candidate.