January 3rd: The White Sox have officially announced the signing of Benintendi and provided a specific contract breakdown. The outfielder will receive a $3 million signing bonus in 2023, $8 million in 2023, $16.5 million in the next three years, and $14.5 million in 2027. It will be. His 40-man roster at the club is now 39.

December 16th: White Sox agree to five-year deal with free-agent outfielder Andrew BenintendiESPN’s Jesse Rogers (Via Twitter). Excel Sports Management client Benintendi will be guaranteed his $75 million in the deal. Tweet Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

Benintendi, 28, was selected 7th overall by the Red Sox in the 2015 Draft and was ranked the sports’ #1 prospect on Baseball America, ESPN and MLB.com before making his big league debut. I was.runner to Aaron Judge Named 2017 American League Rookie of the Year, he posted an impressive .290/.366/.465 batting average a year later in 2018, with 18 homers and 21 stolen bases. Blown stardom.

But that didn’t really happen. Four seasons later, Benintendi has established himself as a solid regular in left field, but he’s not the perennial All-Star he seemed early in his tenure in the big leagues. , and has excellent defense — Benintendi won a Gold Glove in 2021 — but has never cemented himself as a consistent power threat. Benintendi’s 20 home runs in 2017 are still his career-high, and he’s only hit 5 in 521 at-bats between the Royals and Yankees in 2022, although he only hit five. , ended the season with a broken hoof bone in his wrist.

Over the past four seasons, Benintendi has batted .276/.345/.417 with 35 home runs and 27 stolen bases. He’s always had a hard time striking out, but he’s never been any better than his 2022, when he won fans at just 14.8% of his at-bats. Benintendi may have taken a more conservative, contact-focused approach. As a result, not only did he hit fewer home runs, but he was able to put the ball into play more often. In any case, his lack of punchouts is the reason why he had the 7th lowest strikeout rate in all of baseball last year. I watched him win AL Central.

A corner outfielder to help balance the strong right-handed club and a left-handed bat are both definite needs for the South Siders, and Benintendi can tick both boxes. He hits at or near the top of the lineup. Eloy Jimenez It’s like slipping into the main DH role now that Benintendi is on board.The Sox say goodbye to the tough first baseman Jose Abreu This off-season Andrew Vaughan Moving from a right fielder who ranked as one of the worst defenders in MLB at any position to his natural first base position.

Taking Vaughan and Jimenez out of the regular outfield would have improved the outfield defense regardless of their replacement, but combining Benintendi would provide a significant improvement. In 5775 innings in left field, he scored 32 defensive runs. It’s worth noting that Statcast’s Outs Above Average feels completely different. In the same period he pegged Benintendi at -15, but -10 in 2019 he is off by one (the season DRS agrees was below average from a defensive point of view). ).Benintendi and Center Fielder Lewis Robert Give the Sox an above-average pair of defenders in the outfield. gavin seat As a bridge to prospective customers oscar chorusat least one of the three outfield spots could still be a defensive responsibility.

The White Sox opened the 2022 season with a club-record salary of $193 million, adding Benintendi’s numbers to put him back in the range again. Benintendi also pushes Chicago’s luxury tax book just above his $205 million, per roster resources, but it still costs him $2,800 from the first stage of a $233 million fine. million dollars. The Sox can still get help on second base and deepen the bench, so the move after that could propel the team to a franchise-record salary for a second season (barring a trade that loses their current contract). .

Somewhat surprisingly, the $75 million guarantee gave Benintendi the biggest contract in White Sox franchise history, just slightly ahead. Yasmani GrandalChiSox has offered this and more in several high-profile free agent pursuits in recent years. Manny Machado over $100 million Zach WheelerBoth players, of course, eventually signed elsewhere.

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