During the winter, the Chicago White Sox traded Chris Sale and Adam Eaton as part of their rebuilding process. In all likelihood, Jose Quintana will be dealt within the next 12 months. Yet one White Sox player who isn’t going anywhere? Shortstop Tim Anderson.

On Tuesday, the White Sox and Anderson reportedly reached an agreement on a six-year pact that includes two additional option years. The deal’s potential value tops $50 million, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today. Additionally, the $25 million guarantee will make it the largest ever handed to a player with less than a year of major league service time, per Ken Rosenthal:

Anderson, who won’t turn 24 until June, appeared in 99 games last season. He hit .283/.306/.432 with 10 steals on 12 tries and quality defense at shortstop. The biggest question about his game is whether he can tighten his approach at the plate. Anderson walked in just 3 percent of his plate appearances while striking out in 27 percent. That 9-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio was the worst among big-league hitters who had more than 400 plate appearances.

If Anderson can make gains with his strike-zone management and/or his pitch-identification skills, he could blossom into a star. Based on the knowledge that improving those skills is difficult -- especially against big-league pitching -- it seems more likely that he levels off as a solid-to-good two-way player with a big hole in his offensive game. Still, he’s young and toolsy and his strikeout-to-walk ratio improved to 5.6 over his final 50 games, so who knows. Realistically, he’s probably not going to strikeout nine times per walk. 

You can understand why the White Sox -- who have little in the way of meaningful long-term investments -- would bet on Anderson here. At minimum, it could save them some money through the arbitration process -- a process that’s more likely to overvalue Anderson’s contributions based on his high batting average. At maximum? The White Sox just locked in two additional seasons from a potential All-Star-caliber shortstop for less than today’s market rate. It’s a worthy bet on a homegrown player.

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