Are Tim Anderson's days with the Chicago White Sox numbered?

Kansas City Royals v Chicago White Sox
Kansas City Royals v Chicago White Sox / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

Back in 2017, the Chicago White Sox inked shortstop Tim Anderson to a six-year, $25 million deal that included team options for 2023 and 2024.

The club exercised their option heading into this season, which will allow Anderson to make $12.5 million.

The question is, could this be the last year Anderson wears a White Sox jersey?

Anderson's salary this season makes him a bargain at the position. In fact, his deal has been extremely team-friendly as 2023 will mark the first time he will make over $10 million.

He is the 10th highest-paid shortstop in baseball according to Spotrac but lags well behind the likes of Corey Seager (first overall at $35.5 million), Francisco Lindor (second at $34.1 million), and Dansby Swanson (ninth at $14 million).

Even if the White Sox were to pick up his option next year it would only pay him $14 million.

Tim Anderson's days with the Chicago White Sox could be numbered.

That is an extremely good deal for the team, especially when you consider MLB Network has him ranked as a top-ten shortstop in the game heading into the year.

However, it's that type of ranking that makes the two-time All-Star such a polarizing figure amongst the White Sox fan base.

While Anderson has proven to be an exceptional hitter-he has hit over .300 each of the last four years including a Major League-high .335 average in 2019, he has not exactly been Gold Glove-caliber in the field.

After posting a career high .977 fielding percentage and only 10 errors in 2021, he struggled with the glove in 2022 committing 12 errors over the course of an injury-shortened 79 games.

Those 12 errors were two more than Elvis Andrus posted over the course of 143 games between the Oakland A's and the White Sox.

Like a number of players on the team, Anderson will be looking for a bounce-back season after missing significant time due to a ligament injury on his left hand.

He will turn 30 in June which puts him in the same age bracket as most of the top players at shortstop, most of whom are making more money than he is.

The likelihood of the White Sox picking up his option next year is remote at best due to the rise of Anderson's heir apparent, Colson Montgomery who is projected to make the big leagues in '24 (if he ends up sticking with shortstop).

The window of opportunity for the White Sox to win a title is closing quickly and decisions will have to be made regarding what the future of the team will be should they either be in the playoff hunt or on the outside looking in as it was in '22.

If things go south as they did last year, the team might need to part with a player like Anderson at the trade deadline. Moving him for prospects might be the best course of action as opposed to picking up his option.

All that being said, Anderson will be looked to as being the leader of the team following the departure of first baseman Jose Abreu who signed with the Houston Astros. A great deal of pressure will be shouldered by Anderson to help the White Sox in their pursuit of a championship.

How long he will be around to make that become a reality remains to be seen.

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