White Sox officially announce the signing of their top prospect to new six-year deal with club options to bring it to eight years.
Eloy Jimenez has officially signed a new six-year $43 million deal with the White Sox. The Sox top prospect and third overall ranked prospect signed the largest contract for a player with zero MLB service time. The deal was first reported on this past Thursday.
The contract for Jimenez also includes club options for a seventh and eighth year. For Jimenez, the contract will pay him through 2024 if the Sox don’t pick up their club option for 2025 and 2026. The total value of this contract is $75 million if Jimenez has options for a seventh and eighth year picked up by the White Sox.
Jimenez will make $1 million this season as his base salary with a $5 million signing bonus. Next season, he will make $1.5 million. In 2021, Jimenez will make $3.5 million, $6.5 million in 2022, $9.5 million in 2023 and $13 million in 2024.
For the 2025 and 2026 seasons, Jimenez could make $16.5 million and $18.5 million if the White Sox pick up their club options in each respective year. If the White Sox were to buyout Jimenez’s contract after the 2024 or 2025 season, they would owe him an additional $3 million which brings his total contract to $43 million over six years assuming he’s bought out before 2025.
The deal for Jimenez is good for both parties but the Sox could reap the benefits more. Rick Hahn and the Sox front office have done similar deals like this before with players such as Chris Sale, Jose Quintana, Adam Eaton and most recently Tim Anderson. If Jimenez becomes a multi-time All-Star while under contract with the Sox, this deal will be a bargain for the team.
However, if Jimenez not only fails to live up to expectations or is consistently injured, this deal won’t necessarily break the bank but it wouldn’t be a good investment. The rewards far outweigh the risks in this regard and Jimenez can begin to focus on helping the Sox become contenders.
Although the Sox failed to sign top free agents this past offseason, signing their top prospect before he has even made his major league debut should be met with praise from fans. That’s probably not going to happen with most who are still reeling over the fact that Manny Machado isn’t playing third base on the south side this year.
The Sox front office hasn’t shown they have what it takes to sign top free agents, but they’ve shown they can sign their own young players to team-friendly deals. They aren’t the only franchise to be able to do this as recently Blake Snell and Alex Bregman signed team-friendly deals with their respective ballclubs.
For Jimenez, he won’t have to worry about going through arbitration in a few years and can focus on baseball. If he becomes a superstar player as many expect him to do, don’t be surprised if the Sox sign him to an even more lucrative deal to prevent him from becoming a free agent in the near future.