The White Sox and infielder Yoan Moncada have agreed to a five-year contract extension, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports.
3B Yoan Moncada in agreement with #WhiteSox on five-year extension with a club option, sources tell The Athletic. Dollars not yet known. Would potentially buy out two free-agent years. If option is exercised, Moncada would hit open market after age 30 season.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) March 5, 2020
Source confirms: Moncada five-year extension is for $70M. Exercising of club option can bring total value to $90M. On it: @BNightengale.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) March 5, 2020
The sixth-year club option on Yoan Moncada’s deal with the White Sox is for $25 million and includes a $5 million buyout. So the five years are for $65M, and if the option is exercised, the deal will total $90 million over six years. Contract buys out two years of free agency.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 5, 2020
Source: Deal also includes $2.5 million in escalators, which would push the max value to $92.5 million. Deal is pending physical. Expected to be formally announced on Friday. https://t.co/AlpbRzr7dT— Kiley McDaniel (@kileymcd) March 5, 2020
Of players who signed extensions when they had between two and three years of major league service time, only Mike Trout, Alex Bregman and Buster Posey received a higher annual average value than the $14M Moncada will earn over the next five seasons. In a recent look at what a possible Moncada extension could cost, MLBTR’s Jeff Todd set Bregman’s deal (a five-year, $100M extension from last spring) as a possible comp, and Moncada will fall short of that dollar figure even if his 2025 option is exercised. That said, Bregman was also more established at the big league level, and his deal didn’t cover his remaining pre-arbitration season.
Reports surfaced last week about negotiations between the two sides, and the agreement makes Moncada the latest member of Chicago’s young core to ink a long-term deal. The White Sox signed Eloy Jimenez, Luis Robert and Aaron Bummer to extensions within the last year. They also extended veteran leader Jose Abreu through the 2022 season after Abreu initially accepted the team’s qualifying offer last fall. Between these extensions and the offseason acquisitions of Yasmani Grandal, Edwin Encarnacion, Dallas Keuchel, Gio Gonzalez and Nomar Mazara, the Sox are clearly ready to put their rebuild behind them as they pursue (at the very least) their first winning season since 2012.
Moncada became one of the cornerstones of that rebuild process when he was acquired as part of the four-prospect package the White Sox received from the Red Sox for Chris Sale in December 2016. At the time of the deal, many considered Moncada to be arguably baseball’s top prospect, and he showed glimpses of that potential during two decent but inconsistent seasons with the White Sox in 2017-18. Last year, however, Moncada broke out to hit .315/.367/.548 with 25 homers over 559 plate appearance, while also displaying some solid third base defense in the opinion of the Statcast (+5 infield outs above average) and UZR/150 (+4.9) metrics.
It wasn’t all good news for Moncada in 2019, as he posted the lowest walk rate (7.2 percent) of his three seasons in Chicago and also benefited from a .406 BABIP. While Moncada’s strong baserunning will tend to give him a higher BABIP than most players, a .406 mark (over 100 points above average) indicates some level of good fortune. Still, there’s an awful lot to like from Moncada’s performance, especially for a player who doesn’t turn 25 until May.
2020 was Moncada’s final pre-arbitration season, so his extension will cover that pre-arb year, his three arbitration seasons and at least his first free-agent season. If the White Sox exercise the 2025 option, Moncada will be eligible for free agency as he enters his age-31 season, so there’s still an opportunity at another big payday beyond this contract. It should be noted that Moncada already gained financial security before appearing even in the minor leagues, as he received a $31.5M bonus upon signing with the Red Sox as an international free agent in February 2015.
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