White Sox outfielder Luis Robert

Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports

Bernstein: Robert Deal More Good Business For Sox

Luis Robert signed a six-year, $50-million deal with two club options on the end.

Dan Bernstein
January 02, 2020 - 1:39 pm

(670 The Score) White Sox general manger Rick Hahn has made it clear throughout the offseason that their deliberate rebuild is now up-shifting into active contention, and signing outfield prospect Luis Robert to a multi-year deal Thursday is the latest aggressive and confident move to that end.

The 22-year-old Robert will get $50 million over six years with two club options, effectively buying out his arbitration-eligible years and adding a year of team control if the White want it — and here's betting that they will. Robert spent 2019 burning through the minor leagues, slashing an absurd .453/.512/.920 at high-A Winston-Salem that added up to a comical wRC+ of 305, then following that with .314/.362/.518 (155 wRC+) at Double-A Birmingham and .297/.341/.634 (136) at Triple-A Charlotte.

Projection metrics are bullish on the native Cuban too, with Steamer seeing him as a 2.3 fWAR player in his rookie big league season, slashing .272/.317/.485 and posting a wRC+ of 110. Depth Charts is slightly more optimistic at .273/.318/.494 and 112, with an fWAR of 2.6.

Robert's contract is similar in structure to the deal that Eloy Jimenez took last year, and it locks in two of the White Sox's outfield spots for the foreseeable future. Importantly, it obviates any rationale for holding Robert in the minor leagues because of service time considerations. Having that off the table completely means Robert is expected to be the opening day center fielder for 2020, maximizing his contribution to their very real effort to win right now.

Though the White Sox's bullpen remains under construction, it now appears that the everyday lineup is pretty much set once Nick Madrigal inherits the second base spot as expected, and the additions of veterans Dallas Keuchel and Gio Gonzalez to the starting rotation have finalized that group in some order to be determined as young pitchers recover from surgery. Here are your White Sox.​

They needed the dynamic Robert to cover ground between Jimenez in left and Nomar Mazara in right, and now it's time for his ballyhooed speed and athleticism to be seen every day in the majors, for a team sending every right message to anybody paying attention.

This kind of move resonates internally with such a commitment to a developing young player and externally to fans who see an organization making good on an assurance that it would make use of its stockpiled cash when the timing was right.

It looks to be money well spent for a team that's becoming all kinds of interesting.

Dan Bernstein is a co-host of 670 The Score’s Bernstein & McKnight Show in midday. You can follow him on Twitter @Dan_Bernstein.