- The Chicago White Sox are continuing to push the accelerate button on their rebuild as they are now locking up core players for the foreseeable future. The White Sox have reached a six-year, $25MM extension with shortstop Tim Anderson per Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The White Sox were reportedly in extension talks with Anderson as of Monday and things quickly picked up from that point to where both sides have agreed to a deal. The extension also includes two option years in 2023 and 2024 worth respectively $12.5MM and $14MM thus and also each contain a $1MM buyout option thus making the deal worth a possible of maximum of $50.5MM. The White Sox will have the ability to keep Anderson under team control through 2024. The deal sets a new record for players with less than a full year of service time in the MLB as the previous high mark was set by Chris Archer when he inked an extension with the Tampa Bay Rays. Anderson hit .283/.306/.432 with nine home runs and 28 extra-base hits in his rookie year with the White Sox. He represents the best shortstop they’ve had at the position since the club parted ways with longtime shortstop Alexei Ramirez. The White Sox signed Jimmy Rollins last season to take over shortstop as they felt Anderson wasn’t quite ready to hit the big leagues yet but when Rollins struggled the White Sox were quick to pull the plug and gave Anderson the nod. Once taking the diamond, he impressed with his defense and his ability to hit at the top of the order. The White Sox are clearly optimistic Anderson can continue to build on his rookie season as provides stellar defense up the middle and continues to get on base at the top of the order to set the table for his teammates.
- The Toronto Blue Jays may have lost a key piece of their team in the offseason in Edwin Encarnacion but that has not dissuaded the club from trying to keep the rest of the band together. The Blue Jays are reportedly nearing an extension with skipper John Gibbons per Jon Heyman of FanRag. The deal will cover the years 2018 and 2019 with a club option for the 2020 season. He has led the Blue Jays to three consecutive winning seasons as well as consecutive trips to the ALCS in 2015 and 2016. The Blue Jays front office clearly feels he is the best person to lead the team from the dugout for the foreseeable future.
- San Francisco Giants southpaw reliever Will Smith is now going to be shut down for a while after the MRI results revealed he had a UCL sprain and strain in his pitching elbow per Alex Pavlovich of CSN Bay Area. Smith left Monday’s outing with elbow pain and has clearly not gotten back the results he was hoping for from the MRI thus putting his season in further doubt as the results have most likely shown some ligament concern.
- The Tampa Bay Rays are reportedly considering making a late-spring deal involving dealing from their pitching depth per Rosenthal. The most likely candidate to be traded is swingman Erasmo Ramirez. It’s unclear what the Rays would seek back in a deal but they must feel that another upgrade is needed as they attempt to make a play for the postseason in a competitive AL East Division.
- The Texas Rangers have agreed to a one-year, $2.25MM extension with backup catcher Robinson Chirinos per Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. He also will have an option worth $2.375MM in 2019 which contains a $100K buyout option. Chirinos is expected to the backup catcher entering the year behind Jonathan Lucroy.
- New York Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorious will not be on the Opening Day roster. He will begin the season on 10-day D.L. per Bryan Hoch of MLB.com. He has been shut down from all baseball activities for two weeks due to a shoulder strain and may end up missing all of April. Gregorious reportedly suffered the injury during the World Baseball Classic while playing for the Netherlands. Second baseman Starlin Castro is most likely to take over the shortstop position but a replacement for the second base position remains a question mark. The Yankees will certainly miss Gregorious’ elite defense up the middle as well as his consistent bat as he thumped an impressive .276/.304/.447 with 20 home runs and 70 RBIs in 2016.
- The Minnesota Twins have released right-hander Ryan Vogelsong per a team announcement. The veteran inked a minor league pact earlier in the offseason but reportedly requested to be released recently and the team complied. He had a shot to make the rotation as the team’s fifth starter but other pitchers have jumped ahead of him making him redundant.