White Sox extend young talented shortstop with team options for two additional years. Will he become next face of the franchise on the South Side?
On Tuesday, the Chicago White Sox inked shortstop Tim Anderson to a 6-year, $25 million dollar contract. For those who are not aware, it it the richest deal ever given to a player with less than one year of service time at the big league level. Many pundits were surprised by the move, as there are many risks and rewards associated with it. While discussing each would be painstaking, here are the crucial issues his deal presents the Sox moving forward.
First, the team now controls Anderson until the end of the 2024 season. Given that may not make sense according to the length of the contract, but Anderson’s deal does include two club options for 2023 and 2024. Another critical aspect of this is the fiscal part of his deal.
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Through the end of 2022, Anderson never has a season where he earns more than $9.5 million per year, and four when he collects $4 million or less. However, his contract escalates to $12.5 million in ’23 and $14 million in ’24 assuming the club picks up his options.
A major concern with the deal is the league could figure out Anderson, and he may be overpaid for the ’21 and ’22 seasons. However, depending on what shortstops earn league-wide by that time, it might be a moot point regardless when discussing his yearly salary. While production is an issue, another could be injuries however those are nearly impossible to predict at this stage of his career.
Second, would be the enhancement of Anderson’s trade value. A lot of this will have to do with his on-field performance, but a team-friendly contract boosts the interest of clubs around baseball if he were to be put on the market. Reasonable dollar amounts had a lot to do with the return the Sox were able to get in the Chris Sale and Adam Eaton trades, thus they may be attempting a similar strategy in this case.
Finally, the greatest reward for the Sox is knowing they locked up their talented young shortstop for an extended period of time. Although other troubles could arise throughout the tenure of his contract, both sides made out extremely well in this deal. Anderson is set for life, not to mention the fact the club is hopefully set at a key position for many years to come.
Overall, Rick Hahn has done a marvelous job when inking his young stars to reasonable deals early in their careers. This greatly assists the development of a franchise, regardless of its’ direction at the moment the contract is signed. While sifting through Anderson’s statistics from 2016 is meaningless right now, mostly due to the fact that he didn’t even play in two-thirds of a season.
While this deal needs to be evaluated over a long period of time, keep in mind Anderson’s development will have countless peaks and valleys. Enjoy the process, Sox fans.