Tim Anderson has limited major league experience, but the Chicago White Sox clearly see him as a long-term building block.
After another disappointing season, the Chicago White Sox had a pretty active offseason. Gone is manager Robin Ventura, and notable trades sent staff ace Chris Sale and outfielder Adam Eaton elsewhere.
A youth movement is coming on the South Side of Chicago, and the White Sox have now made an aggressive long-term commitment to someone they see as a big part of the future.
According to Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY, the White Sox and shortstop Tim Anderson have agreed to a six-year contact extension. MLB.com’s Scott Merkin was first to report the two sides were taking about a long-term deal, and it came to fruition quickly.
Anderson’s new deal is worth $25 million, and is the most lucrative contract given to a player with less than one year of major league service time in baseball history. Nightengale adds there are two club options in the deal for the White Sox, which can drive the value up to as much as $51.5 million.
Anderson could be tied to the White Sox through age 31. The contract extension will buy out all of his arbitration years at minimum, and possibly his first two years of free agency if both club options are picked up.
Anderson was drafted 17th overall by the White Sox in 2013, and he was ranked as at least a top-50 prospect in all of baseball by Baseball America, MLB.com and Baseball Prospectus a year ago. He did not disappoint upon making his major league debut on June 10 last year, hitting .283 with 37 extra base hits (nine home runs, 22 doubles), 57 runs scored, 30 RBI and 10 stolen bases over 99 games (410 at-bats).
Shortstop, even with some young stars in place again, is still a premium position where stability carries extra value to teams. The White Sox clearly think Anderson can be a centerpiece of a rebuild, and if he develops as expected what looks like a big contract now could prove to be a bargain.