GLENDALE, Ariz. — The White Sox on Saturday agreed to terms with left-hander Aaron Bummer on a five-year, $16 million contract that includes two club options.
Bummer will receive $1 million in 2020, $2 million in 2021, $2.5 million in 2022, $3.75 million in 2023 and $5.5 million in 2024. The Sox hold options for $7.25 million in 2025 and $7.5 million in 2026, with $1.25 million buyouts for either season.
The extension for Bummer is the latest in a line of lucrative deals for young players before they became free agents. The Sox gave more lucrative extensions to Eloy Jimenez, 23, and Luis Robert, 22, in the last 12 months and for shortstop Tim Anderson in the spring of 2017.
Similar deals for Chris Sale, Jose Quintana and Adam Eaton in the past enhanced those players’ trade value in deals for prospects that launched the Sox’ rebuild.
“Every organization seeks to acquire and develop and retain championship-level talent, and we are very pleased to have been able to accomplish that today with another piece,” said Sox assistant general manager Jeremy Haber, who was instrumental in negotiating the deal.
Bummer, 26, was the Sox’ best reliever in 2019, posting a 2.13 ERA with one save, 60 strikeouts and a 0.99 WHIP over 58 relief appearances. His 72 percent ground-ball rate was the second best in baseball.
Bummer ranked among the American League relief leaders in inherited runners-scored percentage (second, 19.4), first-batter efficiency (fourth, .115), holds (sixth, 27), ERA (seventh) and opponents’ average (ninth, .184).
“We dream of playing this game as kids,” Bummer said. “To be here on the South Side for the next five to seven years — the stability, the financial security, man, it’s an unbelievable feeling for my wife and I.”
Slight bump in pay for Leury
The Sox also gave a new, smaller deal to utility man Leury Garcia for one year and $3.5 million including a club option for 2021. Garcia will receive $3.25 million in 2020, while the Sox hold a $3.5 million option for 2021 with a $250,000 buyout. Garcia, 29, had agreed to terms on a one-year, $3.25 million contract on January 10 to avoid arbitration.
Garcia was the primary center fielder in 2019. He can play three outfield and infield positions and is the favorite to be the Opening Day second baseman.
“I am ready for that,” Garcia said. ‘‘I’m doing a lot of work at that position. At the same time, I’m doing a lot of work at other positions. A player like me needs to work at every aspect of the game.”
More to follow?
The Sox likely have broached the subject of extensions for Yoan Moncada and Lucas Giolito.
“It’s a natural time for that type of speculation,” Haber said. “Our track record in terms of the organizational approach to these is pretty clear at this point. But today, we are just talking about the ones we’ve been able to get done.”
This and that
Twenty-three players agreed to terms on one-year deals, placing everyone on the 40-man roster under contract. The highest-paid among the 23 are Giolito and Moncada at $627,000 each.
—- The Sox announced the signing of 17-year-old international prospect outfielder Randel Mondesi, the son of former major leaguer Raul Mondesi and brother of Adalberto. Mondesi is ticketed for the Dominican Summer League.