The Chicago White Sox have reached an agreement with top prospect Luis Robert prior to the 2020 season. Robert is a top-five prospect in all of Major League Baseball, and will now be with the team for at least the next six seasons. The contract is a six-year, $50 million deal that includes two club options. This deal essentially voids any of the service time requirements that may have kept Robert in the minors for larger parts of the 2020 regular season. ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported the financials of the deal.
Outfielder Luis Robert and the Chicago White Sox are in agreement on a six-year, $50 million contract that includes two club options, sources familiar with the deal tell ESPN.
Robert will begin the season in Chicago. No service-time manipulation necessary. Sox are gonna be good.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 2, 2020
Robert was not a free agent, but rather a player who was most likely going to be stuck in the tricky service time manipulation pool. The White Sox, however, have seemed more inclined to extend their unproven youngsters at a lower price as they have done in the past with players like Eloy Jiménez. He has not spent a single day on the big league roster but still earned a solid extension. The White Sox are looking to open their window of competition and this extension along with other signings and previous signings shows that they want to keep their window open as long as possible.
He had not seen the big leagues yet, but, Robert has been tearing it up in the minor leagues. In 2019 he started off on a quick nineteen game set with the Single-A Winston-Salem affiliate where he slashed .453/.920/.512 with 8 home runs and 24 RBI before being promoted. After joining the Double-A Birmingham affiliate, Robert would manage to hit his way out of there as well, posting a .314/.518/.362 slash line with 8 more home runs and 29 more RBI. He would earn one final promotion to the Triple-A Charlotte affiliate where he spent forty-seven games, producing a .297/.634/.341 slash line with 16 home runs and 39 RBI. The bottom line is, Robert has proven he can play and the White Sox are investing in him, hoping his talent transfer as he makes one final jump to the big leagues.
For those keeping track, the White Sox have had quite the offseason spending a heavy amount of money to make a push in the American League Central. They signed catcher Yasmani Grandal, traded for outfielder Nomar Mazara, signed designated hitter Edwin Encarnación, and signed lefty arm Dallas Keuchel. Signing Robert just guaranteed them a larger window to be competitive in the AL Central division.