MLB: Spring Training-Chicago White Sox at Chicago Cubs

South Side Spring Training 5: Tim Anderson might be getting an extension soon

1. The news Monday that the White Sox are reportedly working on a long-term contract extension with Tim Anderson should come as a surprise to no one, considering the team’s recent history with their young building blocks and what they see in Anderson and his role in the team’s rebuild.

If and when the White Sox lock up Anderson, it will follow suit with similar deals the White Sox gave Chris Sale, Jose Quintana, and Adam Eaton in buying out arbitration years and the first few years of free agency. As it stands, Anderson is still pre-arb until 2020 and not eligible to become a free agent until 2023.

Anderson has been, at least through the first 431 plate appearances of his career, a breakthrough in hitter development for a White Sox team that has been desperate for a position player to emerge out of their system for more than a decade.

The reward of  signing a player with Anderson’s potential to a long-term, team friendly deal far outweighs the risks, even for a player with the holes in his game that Anderson currently possesses. And even if Anderson winds up merely average, the extension he’d presumably command won’t be hefty enough to be a burden given how his skills have translated to the major league level.

2. The Carlos Rodon Watch is officially over. As Ryan wrote about Monday, the prized lefty made his spring debut on Sunday and looked about as fine as you could imagine. All the worrying and hand-wringing over the White Sox’ strange schedule for Rodon during the spring seems to be for naught.

3. On the subject of young pitchers pitching, Reynaldo Lopez put together what is arguably the best performance by any of the White Sox heralded young pitching prospects thus far this spring in Monday’s game against the Giants.

Lopez went six scoreless innings, allowing four hits, striking out four, and walking zero. He appeared to be commanding both the changeup and curveball as well as we’ve seen all spring, and while Lopez is still surely starting the season in Triple-A, it’s nice to see one of the prospects shine even if just for a day in a meaningless game, and in more than just a 2-3 inning burst.

4. We’re now fewer than two weeks from Opening Day and there are still questions to be answered about what the White Sox roster will look like on April 3. In the bullpen, the White Sox will likely have a few tough decisions to make about the final two spots. There’s Rule 5 draft pick Dylan Covey, the out-of-options Michael Ynoa, the left-handed Cory Luebke (the only lefty slotted for the bullpen currently is Dan Jennings), and maybe a few others. Failing to start the season with Covey or Ynoa likely means the White Sox lose them forever, so we’ll see if that factors into their decision or not.

5. There are also spots yet to be determined positionally. Peter Bourjos is presumably in the driver’s seat for the center field spot after Charlie Tilson’s injury, and the catching duo is more than likely going to be Omar Narvaez and Geovany Soto, but the designated hitter and bench combinations still seem up for grabs with the likes of Matt Davidson, Cody Asche, Leury Garcia, Yolmer Sanchez, and possibly others still in the mix.

Lead Photo Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

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