The Chicago White Sox and Yoan Moncada are discussing a contract extension according to James Fox of Future Sox.
This would be a phenomenal decision by the White Sox as Yoan Moncada is an up and coming star in MLB and is destined to only get more expensive going forward.
Moncada, 24, is set to make slightly more than the league minimum in 2020, but after this season, the third baseman will enter his first year of arbitration where his salary will go up significantly.
In 2019, the switch-hitter had a .315/.367/.548 slash line with 25 home runs and 79 RBI to give himself an elite 141 wRC+ and 5.7 fWAR.
Another strong season like that would lead to a potentially record-breaking first-year salary in arbitration for Moncada, which would only make his 2022 and 2023 salaries more expensive.
Signing an extension truthfully makes sense for both sides on this as there is significant risk for Moncada if he chooses not to sign an extension.
His 2018 season with the White Sox was actually dreadful as he had a 33.4% strikeout rate to go along with a .235/.315/.400 slash line.
Regression towards that season in 2020 would put any future talks of an extension into question and his offer would probably be significantly worse.
Banking on the White Sox giving him the same offer at worst after this season or in future ones would be a gamble and one possibly not worth taking.
If the team wants to see another season of improvement from Moncada, that’s understandable, but they do so at their own peril.
Every year closer to free agency for Moncada makes him less and less inclined to sign a long-term extension if he keeps playing at a high level.
Sure, it doesn’t rule out an extension, but he is currently set to hit free agency as a 28-year-old. That is viewed right now as a prime age for free agency and forfeiting that opportunity loses appeal while he’s in arbitration.
His salaries will already be pretty high in his second and third seasons of arbitration if he keeps producing which would make the idea of more money early and less money later less beneficial for him.
Giving an extension to Moncada now would make sense for both sides as it can allow Moncada to simply focus on playing baseball on the South Side while feeling that the White Sox’s organization is fully committed to him going forward.
The White Sox could feel a sense of relief knowing that their biggest star is locked up long-term at a cost-controlled rate, which would help with budgeting each season.
There are reasons for both sides to be wary of signing an extension this early on, but the White Sox should do everything in their power to agree to a long-term extension with Yoan Moncada before the start of the 2020 season.