The Chicago White Sox have locked up young shortstop Tim Anderson for the long-haul on a six-year contract with two option years included. This will buy out all of Anderson’s arbitration years, and could potentially buy out two years of free agency. While the breakdown of the contract is unknown, Anderson will be guaranteed $25 million, good for an AAV around $4.2 million.
Anderson made his debut in 2016 and hit very well, slashing .283/.306/.432 while hitting 22 doubles, six triples and nine home runs while stealing 10 stolen bases. While the lack of walks is certainly a concern, he is still just 23 years old, and has time on his side. The White Sox will hope Anderson’s approach at the plate improves in the long run.
Pre-arbitration extensions have become rather commonplace over the past few seasons. Some turn out to be massive bargains for the organization such as Andrew McCutchen, while some do not pan out, such as Jonathan Singleton. Anderson, however, seems poised to be at least a strong regular with an even higher ceiling and $25 million over six seasons is an exceptionally modest salary.
In my estimation, this seems to be a very shrewd move for Rick Hahn and company moving forward with the rebuild. Anderson will be 30 years old, at the earliest, upon reaching free agency. Even so, assuming he is able to meet expectations, Anderson should be in for a much larger payday down the line.