White Sox give Luis Robert contract extension
Bob Nightengale of USA Today was the first to report that the Chicago White Sox agreed to an extension with Luis Robert that would almost ensure that he’d end up on the Opening Day roster in 2020.
Jeff Passan of ESPN later added more details in which he reported that it is a six-year deal worth $50 million that will include two club options. Those two club options could bring the total value of the contract to $88 million.
Had this deal not been signed, service-time manipulation would have potentially been a factor for Robert in terms of his chances of being on the Opening Day roster.
If he was on the team on Opening Day, the White Sox would lose out on an extra year of control.
This deal actually gives the White Sox eight years of potential team control. which actually works out better for them while also giving Robert more money early on in his career.
Robert, 22, is the third best prospect in all of baseball according to MLB Pipeline which makes him the perfect candidate for this type of contract.
In 2019, he arguably would’ve been able to make an impact as he had a phenomenal season across three levels of the minor leagues.
In 122 games, Robert accumulated a .328/.376/.624 slash line with 32 home runs, 92 RBI, 31 doubles, 11 triples, and 36 stolen bases.
The lowest OPS he had at any of the three levels was .880 with Double-A Birmingham over 56 games which is still above-average.
Robert will now be set to start for the team in center field on Opening Day to give the team an outfield including Robert, Eloy Jimenez (who received a similar contract before the start of last season), and Nomar Mazara.
While the additions of Mazara, Yasmani Grandal, and Edwin Encarnacion were smart moves, Robert actually might be the most important addition offensively for this team in 2020 and beyond.
Teams don’t give out contracts like these to prospects unless if they are viewed as potential cogs long-term, which Robert largely is viewed as around the game.
Robert’s status in the top-tier of prospects suggests he could be a star for the South Side for a long time and getting his bat in the lineup at the start of the season is huge for this team as they look to contend in 2020 and beyond.