GLENDALE, Ariz. — The White Sox couldn’t get a major deal done with either Manny Machado or Bryce Harper this offseason, but they managed to lock up one of their own for the long term.
Per multiple reports on Wednesday, the team is nearing a contract extension for Eloy Jimenez, who was ranked by MLB.com as the No. 3 prospect in Major League Baseball.
Dominican Republic journalist Hector Gomez and ESPN’s Jeff Passan were the first to report the deal.
BREAKING NEWS: The White Sox are close to an agreement with Eloy Jimenez for an 8-year extension that would pay him between 65-70 US$ Million. With Incentives the contract could get to the 75-80 million Range. Source says deal is pending only a Physical. https://t.co/DKrX61kDBq
— Héctor Gómez (@hgomez27) March 20, 2019
Passan and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic report the deal will be for six years for $43 million with a possible maximum salary of $77 million.
Eloy deal with #WhiteSox will be six years, $43M with two club options, source tells The Athletic.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) March 20, 2019
Eloy Jimenez’s deal with the Chicago White Sox will be for six years and $43 million, as @Ken_Rosenthal said. It will include a pair of club options and can max out around $77 million, sources tell ESPN.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 20, 2019
The White Sox have yet to confirm the extension.
Acquired from the Cubs in the 2017 trade that sent Jose Quintana to the North Side, Jimenez has shot up the White Sox farm system with his prowess at the plate. He hit .353 in Class A Winston-Salem after the trade, then hit .345 in Birmingham to finish off the 2017 season.
In 2018 he was even better, hitting .317 with 10 homers and 42 RBI in 53 games before getting the call-up to Triple-A. In Charlotte, Jimenez hit .355 with 12 homers and 33 RBI as many called for him to be called up by the major league team. But with service time, the White Sox chose to keep him with the Knights for the rest of the season.
Since service time doesn’t apply with the new contract, there is a good chance that Jimenez will start the 2019 season with the White Sox, likely starting in their outfield.