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Moncada inks 5-year extension with White Sox

@scottmerkin
March 6, 2020

MESA, Ariz. -- Congratulations were plentiful for Yoán Moncada Friday morning in the White Sox clubhouse at Camelback Ranch. And these pats on the back or handshakes coming from teammates such as Carson Fulmer, Alex Colomé, Nomar Mazara and Reynaldo López arrived about one hour before Moncada’s five-year, $70 million

MESA, Ariz. -- Congratulations were plentiful for Yoán Moncada Friday morning in the White Sox clubhouse at Camelback Ranch.

And these pats on the back or handshakes coming from teammates such as Carson Fulmer, Alex Colomé, Nomar Mazara and Reynaldo López arrived about one hour before Moncada’s five-year, $70 million contract was officially announced by the team. The White Sox also hold a club option possibly extending the deal through the 2025 season.

Under terms of the contract, Moncada will receive a $4 million signing bonus, $1 million in 2020, $6 million in 2021, $13 million in 2022, $17 million in 2023 and $24 million in 2024. That option for $25 million in 2025 includes a $5 million buyout.

Moncada joined the youthful core of Luis Robert and Eloy Jiménez, who also have agreed to long-term deals in the last year, in helping set up the White Sox for success in 2020 but, more important, six or seven years down the line. The Sox third baseman capped his big day with three hits in Friday’s 6-3 victory over the Cubs at Sloan Park.

“We can objectively sit here today and feel like we have three of arguably the most exciting young players in the American League under control for at least the next six years,” said White Sox general manager Rick Hahn. “And that is a good feeling.”

“This team has a lot of young talent,” said Moncada, sporting a jersey with his YM logo, through interpreter Billy Russo. “Part of that is we all can be able to carry this team to win a World Series championship. That's our goal but definitely the talent that we have right now is something that makes you feel excited.”

Jiménez agreed to a six-year, $43 million deal during last Spring Training with club options for 2025 and 2026. Robert agreed to a six-year, $50 million deal this past offseason with club options for 2026 and 2027. Let’s not forget Aaron Bummer (Feb. 22), Dallas Keuchel (Dec. 30, 2019), Yasmani Grandal (Nov. 21, 2019), José Abreu (Nov. 22, 2019) and Tim Anderson (March 21, 2017) as White Sox players who have agreed to multi-year deals with the club over the last four seasons.

White Sox team control chart
• 3B Yoán Moncada: signed through 2024, club option for 2025
• LF Eloy Jiménez: signed through 2024, club options for ’25-26
• CF Luis Robert: signed through 2025, club options for ’26-27
• SS Tim Anderson: signed through 2022, club options for ’23-24
• LHP Aaron Bummer: signed through 2024, club options for ’25-26
• LHP Dallas Keuchel: signed through 2022, club option for ‘23
• C Yasmani Grandal: signed through 2023
• 1B José Abreu: signed through 2022
• RHP Lucas Giolito: arbitration eligible in 2021, team controlled through ‘23
• RHP Reynaldo López: arbitration eligible in 2021, team controlled through ‘23
• RHP Michael Kopech: arbitration eligible in 2022, team controlled through ‘24

Robert and Moncada have their lockers stationed next to Abreu at Camelback Ranch. And on Friday, Abreu sounded like a proud father when talking about his younger Cuban countrymen.

“The majority of us here are parents, right?” said Abreu through Russo. “How would you feel if your kids are doing great and signing good contracts? That’s how I feel.

“It’s a very good plan and an aggressive plan from the team. It’s putting us in a very good position for the future, and I would like to have more guys with extensions because that’s good for us and that’s good for what we are trying to accomplish.”

Who else could possibly be on this White Sox core extension crew? The White Sox tried to lock down right-hander Dylan Cease last year and could revisit in 2020, and of course, Lucas Giolito, the team’s projected Opening Day starter who threw one scoreless inning Friday, also makes sense on that list.

“I’m more like present moment,” Giolito said. “'What can I do this day to improve and become a better player?' All that stuff, the money, the contracts, that all will fall into place if I keep focusing on what makes me successful.

“I absolutely see myself as part of the young core, the group of guys that have come up and made an impact. We’ll see what happens down the road here. I’m looking forward to just getting back out there in five days pitching and the season, I think we’re going to have a lot of fun this year.”

Being part of this White Sox extended fun became a priority for Moncada, who slashed .315/.367/.548 with 34 doubles, five triples, 25 home runs, 79 RBIs, 83 runs scored and 10 stolen bases over 132 games in 2019. He made that point clear to Alex Cotto, the agent he switched to as part of the Movement Management Group, and the deal was mapped out in less than two weeks after the White Sox first approached, per Hahn.

All of these deals provide cost certainty with little inherent risk for the White Sox moving forward. They also provide a chance for this group to grow and consistently win together.

“These are young players that are still evolving, who have very likely not reached their ceiling, and they are going to put us in a strong position for a long time,” Hahn said. “When you start a rebuild, you want to find core championship-caliber pieces that you can build around, and we feel we have a number of those. And a good chunk of those we have been able to extend this window through these contracts.”

“Of course, it's good to have this done and put all my focus on the season,” Moncada said. “As I said before, I have big plans for this season. I'm expecting to have a way better season than I had last year.”

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and Facebook and listen to his podcast.