The Chicago White Sox have an agreement with Cuban outfielder Luis Robert, and the contract is expected to be worth between $25-$30 million, sources told FanRag Sports.
The 19-year-old right-handed hitter had declared for free agency in April but had spent that time garnering interest from teams that had watched him work out in the Dominican Republic.
Robert certainly fits the mold of what the White Sox are trying to do: Build around a younger core instead of ponying up money for veteran pieces.
White Sox general manager Rick Hahn made that clear over the winter when he dealt one of the top pitchers in baseball, Chris Sale, to the Red Sox in exchange for a batch of prospects which included infielder Yoan Moncada and flamethrower Michael Kopech.
“I certainly understand why people would believe we would be in the mix given how nicely he could conceivably fit with not only in (our) rebuild but our history with similar such players,” Hahn said last week, per The Chicago Tribune. “I expect the bidding will be extremely robust. He’s an extremely talented young man who is going to have an impact (whoever) he winds up joining.”
Though Roberts is an impressive get for the White Sox, the club won’t be able to ink another international free agent for more than $300,000 over the next two seasons.
The White Sox have become more active in the Cuban pipeline with Moncada’s presence, as well as first baseman Jose Abreu, who signed with the club on a six-year deal in 2013.
The St. Louis Cardinals and Cincinnati Reds were two others teams believed to aggressively pursue Robert.