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Jimenez scratched from White Sox’ minor-league game; details of deal reported

Eloy Jimenez has millions of reasons to smile these days. (John Antonoff/For the Sun-Times)

GLENDALE, Ariz. — There was no official announcement from the White Sox about top prospect Eloy Jimenez’s $43 million contract agreement reached this week and no Jimenez sightings at Sox camp.

The prized left fielder, who was scheduled to be the designated hitter in a minor-league game Thursday, was scratched with a head cold, the Sox said. The timing of that seemed fishy to some, sparking speculation the Sox are playing it safe in advance of an imminent announcement.

Those around Jimenez at breakfast insisted he wasn’t feeling well, although it wasn’t enough to keep him from wearing a happy face while poking his head in manager Rick Renteria’s office and, before heading out from the Sox’ complex early Thursday afternoon, receiving congratulatory hugs and handshakes from teammates.

While the Sox said there was no news to announce, more specifics of Jimenez’s deal, which could reach $75 million with club options on a seventh and eighth year, were reported. Jimenez will receive $11 million total over the first three years, including a $5 million signing bonus, then $6.5 million, $9.5 million and $13 million in what would have been his arbitration years, according to Ken Rosenthal of MLB Network and the Athletic. The Sox hold options of $16.5 million and $18.5 million with a $3 million buyout on each that figures into the guarantee.

“It’s huge for him,’’ said shortstop Tim Anderson, who two years ago signed a $25 million guaranteed deal with the potential to reach $50.5 million through 2024. “It shows he wants to be here by signing that. I’m happy for him. Couldn’t happen to a better person.’’

It also sends a good message to young players in the organization, Anderson said.

“It shows the love they have for you, taking care of you at an early age early in your career,’’ Anderson said. “They know what they want to do, and he’s all in.’’


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Anderson was 23 when he signed his contract with 99 major-league games under his belt. Jimenez is 22.

“I feel like he’s in a more mature stage than I was,’’ Anderson said. “He handled himself well. He’s always been having the hype, so I think he gets it.’’

Aches and pains

One week before the season opener, catcher Welington Castillo (lower back) and Jon Jay (sore right hip) were out, with both hoping to take at-bats in minor-league games Friday and perhaps play Saturday at the earliest.

Giolito’s struggles

Lucas Giolito (8.84 ERA), who has allowed 27 hits and 18 earned runs in 18„ innings while leading the team with 18 strikeouts, is trending the wrong way as the opener approaches. He allowed seven runs, eight hits and two walks in four innings against the Diamondbacks on Wednesday. Two of the hits were home runs, including one by 18-year-old prospect Alek Thomas.

“I feel good throwing the ball, but the results have been very poor, so it’s pretty frustrating,’’ Giolito said. “Yesterday in particular, getting ahead on a lot of guys but not putting them away.’’

Cuts announced

The Sox made four roster cuts, optioning outfielder Ryan Cordell, left-hander Josh Osich and right-hander Thyago Vieira to Class AAA Charlotte and reassigning catcher Nate Nolan to minor-league camp.