The Chicago White Sox made a very interesting decision on Saturday morning as they agreed to a five-year contract extension with Aaron Bummer.
On the White Sox’s official Twitter account, the team announced that Bummer was signing a five-year, $16 million extension that includes two club options that would pay him $7.25 million in 2025 and $7.5 million in 2026 if picked up.
Bummer, 26, actually would not have hit arbitration until after the 2021 season which makes this a very interesting decision on the White Sox part.
The southpaw broke out in a big way in 2019 as he registered the best season of his career with a 2.13 ERA, 3.41 FIP, and 0.990 WHIP with 8.0 K/9 as compared to 3.2 BB/9.
However, he wasn’t nearly as effective in the seasons prior as he had a 4.36 career ERA prior to last year.
That being said, his FIP in 2018 (2.40) suggested he was a much better pitcher than his ERA (4.26) was giving him credit for being during the 2018 season.
Overall, this was actually a very smart decision on the White Sox part given it is a low-risk, extremely high reward situation for the team.
The highest salary Bummer will receive prior to the options is $5.5 million in 2024 which is really nothing to worry about even if he were to completely faceplant in the coming years.
If he maintains his 2019 performance, his contract will be one of the best in baseball, especially among relievers as they would have avoided negotiating with him on the open market down the road.
Bummer’s contract will keep him with the club until he turns 31 at the very least and possibly until he turns 33, which covers much of his prime as a reliever.
While Bummer is by no means a guarantee to remain as effective as he was in 2019 going forward, this is the type of gamble the White Sox should be taking to keep him and other players on the South Side.
With uncertainty going forward for Alex Colome‘s future in Chicago since he’s a free agent after the 2020 season, locking up one of their top relievers long-term at a controlled price is a fantastic move.
Aaron Bummer could be on his way to becoming one of the best relievers in baseball and the White Sox made a smart decision giving him an extension now.