After a slightly agonizing, two-day wait, the Chicago White Sox confirmed rumors of an extension for Eloy Jiménez, news dumping it onto a late Friday evening.
No worries about the timing, of course, because the deal presumably keeps Jiménez on the South Side for eight years, at a cost of $75 million.
The core deal is six years, $43 million, as Jiménez is paid $40 million through the 2024 season and gets a buyout of three million if the White Sox choose to set him free after the 2024 or 2025 seasons.
Here’s the breakdown:
- 2019 $6 million ($1 million salary, $5 million signing bonus)
- 2020 $1.5 million
- 2021 $3.5 million
- 2022 $6.5 million
- 2023 $9.5 million
- 2024 $13 million
- 2025 White Sox option for $16.5 million (or $3 million buyout)
- 2026 White Sox option for $18.5 million (or $3 million buyout)
The deal is by far the most lucrative ever given to a minor-leaguer with zero days of MLB service time.
Jiménez, 22, is rated by every scouting outlet as the No. 1 prospect in the White Sox organization and as high as No. 1 (Clubhouse Corner) and universally a Top 10 prospect in all of baseball. The left fielder combined to bat .337/.384/.577 with 28 doubles, 22 home runs, 75 RBIs and a .961 OPS in 108 games between Double-A Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte in 2018.
Jiménez has been ranked as the No. 1 White Sox prospect by South Side Sox in both 2018 and 2019.
“Eloy is a tremendously talented young player who has impressed us with his baseball skills, poise and maturity from the moment he joined the White Sox organization,” GM Rick Hahn says in the team press release. “We view him as an important member of the core we are building over the coming years, and so are pleased to have reached this long-term agreement to have him in a White Sox uniform for many seasons to come.”
“My family and I are very happy and excited to sign this deal,” Jiménez says in the release. “It gives us the opportunity to ensure our future, but more importantly, to reinforce my commitment to the White Sox organization. All of my effort, focus and desire is to help this team win multiple championships and bring joy to our fan base.”
Jiménez is a career .311/.359/.519 hitter with 108 doubles, 65 homers, 281 RBIs and 232 runs scored in 408 games over five minor-league seasons in the White Sox and Chicago Cubs organizations.
A native of Santo Domingo Centro in the Dominican Republic, Jiménez came over from the Cubs on July 13, 2017 with right-handed pitcher Dylan Cease and infielders Bryant Flete and Matt Rose in exchange for southpaw starter José Quintana.
Jiménez was optioned to Charlotte during spring training, which by rule prevents him from being called back up to the team for Opening Day on March 28 in Kansas City. However, if a White Sox player is placed on the injured list on Opening Day, Jiménez will be eligible to be called back up to the club to fill the roster spot.
If he keeps his current uniform number, Jiménez will be the first player in White Sox history to wear No. 74.