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Eloy's coming: White Sox reportedly agree on potential eight-year contract.

Byline: Scot Gregor sgregor@dailyherald.com

It looks like Eloy Jimenez is off the "service time" clock.

Held off the White Sox's 25-man roster last September despite posting big numbers at Class AA Birmingham and AAA Charlotte, Jimenez was moved out of major-league camp and optioned to Charlotte last week.

Why?

By waiting until late April of the upcoming season to bring him up, the Sox would have had Jimenez under contractual control through the 2025 season instead of 2024.

That is no longer an issue.

According to multiple reports, Jimenez and the White Sox are close to agreeing on a six-year, $43 million contract that includes two club options. The total package could be worth roughly $77 million.

Jimenez should be added back to the roster and break camp with the White Sox after the deal is done.

In the Cactus League, the 22-year-old outfielder batted .154 (4-for-26) with 1 home run and 3 RBI. Jimenez has had some injury issues 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 RBI).

As for the expected signing, the timing couldn't be better.

The White 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 over $300 million guaranteed, a figure the Sox were not willing to go to according to vice president Kenny Williams.

"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."

Ozzie's coming home:

Former Sox shortstop/manager Ozzie Guillen is joining NBC Sports Chicago this season as a pregame/postgame analyst.

"Chicago will always be my home," Guillen said in a statement. "There is no better sports town in the world and I can't wait to get started."

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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Date:Mar 21, 2019
Words:358
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