It seemed like all the attention during this MLB offseason was focused on the big-name free agents such as Manny Machado and Bryce Harper.
And with good reason – considering both players got record-breaking money, signing with new teams.
Machado decided on San Diego for 10 years and $300 million, a record-breaking amount at the time.
Harper broke Machado’s record just a couple of days later, signing a 13-year, $330 million contract with the Philadelphia Phillies.
Sure, both these deals deserve a lot of attention, but hardly any attention was focused on the many contract extensions that took place during the offseason.
Some of the biggest names in baseball got signed to huge contract extensions, including Nolan Arenado, Chris Sale, Paul Goldschmidt, and Alex Bregman.
And how could you forget the face of the MLB, Mike Trout, getting paid the most money of any professional athlete ever, inking a 12-year, $426 million dollar extension?
But the biggest head scratcher of any of the extensions signed this offseason has to be Eloy Jimenez.
Jimenez is certainly not a household name.
The 22-year-old rookie from the Dominican Republic signed a six-year, $43 million dollar extension with the Chicago White Sox.
Sure, Jimenez is one of the highest-touted prospects in the entire MLB, but there is just one problem with this deal – he has never had even a single MLB at bat in his career prior to signing the deal.
This is just plain crazy.
And history certainly isn’t on Chicago’s side, either.
The last two big rookie extensions haven’t exactly panned out.
The first was Jon Singleton, who signed a five-year extension with the Astros back in 2014 during his rookie campaign.
Singleton hasn’t played in the MLB since 2015 and never hit higher than .200 at the plate.
The second was Scott Kingery, who signed a six-year extension with the Philadelphia Phillies just last season.
Let’s just say: Kingery’s rookie season last year was far from impressive.
Kingery played in 147 games, which is almost a full season, and hit just .226 with only eight homers and 35 RBIs.
It’s safe to say neither of these extensions really worked out.
The White Sox’s decision to extend Jimenez was just plain baffling.
Jimenez was under team control until 2020 before the contract extension, meaning time should have been a friend to the White Sox.
Chicago had plenty of time to evaluate Jimenez during the 2019 season and see if all the hype surrounding him was warranted.
But instead, the White Sox decided that Jimenez was well worth the risk for $43 million, which is no small amount.
So far, in 11 games this season, Jimenez is batting just .200 with zero homers and just 2 RBIs.
Yes, obviously, it’s still very early in the season and Jimenez has plenty of time to turn things around, but for now, White Sox fans are holding their breaths and hoping Jimenez is the real deal.
But only time will tell if the White Sox got a perenial all-star locked up for the next seven seasons, or if they completely wasted nearly $50 million on a player who has literally proven nothing.