It looks like Eloy Jimenez is off the “service time” clock.
Held off the White Sox’s 25-man roster in September despite posting big numbers at Double-A Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte, Jimenez was moved out of major league camp and optioned to Charlotte last week.
By waiting until late April to bring him up, the Sox would have had Jimenez under contractual control through the 2025 season instead of 2024.
That no longer is an issue.
According to multiple reports, Jimenez and the Sox are close to agreeing on a six-year, $43 million contract that includes two club options. The total package could be worth about $77 million.
Jimenez should be added back to the roster and break camp with the Sox after the deal is done.
In the Cactus League, the 22-year-old outfielder batted .154 (4 for 26) with one home run and three RBIs. Jimenez has had some injuries in the past, but he blamed his performance on poor timing. In 108 combined games in Birmingham and Charlotte last season, he finished impressively (.337/.384/.577, 22 home runs, 75 RBIs).
As for the expected signing, the timing couldn’t be better.
The Sox have been battered by fans for the better part of a month after failing to sign free agents Manny Machado or Bryce Harper.
Both star players are getting more than $300 million guaranteed, a figure the Sox were not willing to go to, vice president Kenny Williams said.
“That level wasn’t feasible to us because we still have to project putting together a total winning roster and keeping the young players that will ultimately earn into greater dollars themselves,” Williams said. “So when you look at the big picture, without having to sacrifice some of them, we could not go to that level.”