“Our” (if you consider SSS and South Side Hit Pen fam, and if you do, it would be nice if you could show us some familial love) James Fox dropped a bomb early Monday:
Source: the Chicago #WhiteSox have opened contract extension talks with outfielder Luis Robert. No details on willingness or expectation but the deal would likely be in the 8 year $80-$90 million range.— James Fox (@JamesFox917) December 23, 2019
A Robert extension has been bandied about practically since the Cuban phenom was first signed in 2017, and his otherworldly 2019 season has made locking up the Center Fielder of the Future a priority.
Eight years would keep the 22-year-old on the South Side through the 2027 season. If Eloy Jiménez’s 2019 preseason eight-year, $75 million extension is the model (presumptively the model James is using in his estimate), the White Sox offer to Robert is closer to $80 million than $90 million. But either grand total would take a player already “set for life” with a $26 million signing bonus and give his future children and grandchildren lifetime security.
One difference between the two phenom’s statuses is Robert’s bloated signing bonus, which Eloy did not match ($2.8 million). Robert already has some serious White Sox money in the bank, which is long given as a reason he (or Yoán Moncada) would not need to “jump” at an extension.
On the other hand, Robert has averaged just 61 games per season in his career and his 122 in 2019 nearly doubled his previous career high. While that average is pulled down by both short Cuban National Series seasons and IL stints, Robert is not exactly immune to the injury bug; it might not be the silliest notion to cash in now, at the risk of being underpaid (see: Tim Anderson) in future years.