'I want to be here until I'm done': TA talks future with White Sox

March 17th, 2022

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- When the offseason tunes up, Tim Anderson usually tunes out.

The All-Star White Sox shortstop puts in plenty of work to continue improving his game and get ready for the upcoming season, but otherwise those months are all about his wife, two daughters and family. He doesn’t concern himself with the Hot Stove rumor mill or the churned-out deals.

But Anderson took notice this past offseason. Shortstop Corey Seager agreed to a 10-year, $325 million deal with the Rangers. Middle infielder Marcus Semien, coming off a 45-home run campaign with Toronto, joined the Rangers via a seven-year, $175 million deal and shortstop Carlos Correa remains on the open market with a projected big contract on the horizon.

While the White Sox hold a $12.5 million option in ’23 and a $14 million option for ’24, Anderson knows his next long-term deal will be even more significant than his current six-year, $25 million extension. And Anderson hopes it comes with the White Sox.

“I want to be here until I’m done,” Anderson told MLB.com during a recent interview. “I definitely think about that a lot. I feel like I’m at a point now where I kind of outplayed the last deal, and that’s OK.

“You won’t hear me complain. ... I know the ultimate goal here. My loyalty lies here, and I feel like they are loyal to me as well. But at the end of the day, I understand the business.”

That business side comes with a strong dose of realism in Anderson’s mind.

“Everybody is different, for the most part,” Anderson said. “I’m not just seeing those numbers and saying that’s what I should get, or anybody should. At the end of the day, what’s for me is what’s for me and what happens is going to happen.

“So I can’t do anything but roll with whatever comes with it. I would definitely be happy if that does ever present itself. I would love for it to be here.”

White Sox manager Tony La Russa spoke of Anderson’s constant quest for knowledge for any sort of tidbit to improve his game offensively or defensively. Anderson already has become one of the top shortstops in the game, but he also is one of the faces of Major League Baseball.

His flair for the dramatic was on display last season during the inaugural Field of Dreams game against the Yankees in Dyersville, Iowa. With one out and the White Sox trailing by one, Anderson launched an opposite-field stalk-off homer into the corn against Zach Britton.

“They can’t ever show that moment without showing me. So that’s enough. That’s enough for me,” Anderson said with a smile. “It just says a lot what kind of player I am, what I bring to the table.

“For that to be a key moment, you could see the energy and you could see the passion. It’s a real authentic moment and people felt the energy of that moment. So, I think that was a real dope moment for baseball.”

Talk to Anderson, and the idea of having fun or enjoying the moment almost always comes into the conversation. It’s a different style for Anderson compared to when the 28-year-old was selected 17th overall in the 2013 MLB Draft.

His gregarious nature shows how comfortable Anderson has become with his game, with himself and with the White Sox.

“Totally different. I wasn’t even talking then. Now I can’t shut up. Now I’m talking to everybody,” Anderson said with a laugh. “It just shows this organization has definitely helped me grow and become a man and get better. They taught me a lot. Basically raised me.

“That’s why I love being here. I’m comfortable with everybody. That’s why I feel so much better just being here. I’m able to be myself 110 percent, and they are OK with it.”

If the White Sox broached a new deal with Anderson, he certainly would listen. Until that point, he’s happy and comfortable where he is.

“I’m winning,” Anderson said. “I reached my goal way more than what I thought I would. I never thought I would be in a big league locker room. I’m always winning at that point. Anything after that is always extra and always going to be a blessing.”

“We are all proud of him,” White Sox first baseman José Abreu said through interpreter Billy Russo. “Everybody knew what he was capable of, but he made some changes for the better and everybody is seeing now the results, even himself. I'm the proudest one because I saw his potential and then just seeing all the effort, all the work he has put in to come to fruition, that's been a blessing. I'm just happy for him.”