The Chicago White Sox were hoping to lock up prized prospect Andrew Vaughn to a long-term contract before he makes his major-league debut.
Talks have cooled.
The affection and enthusiasm for the first baseman/DH has not.
The White Sox refuse to follow many other teams and play the service-time manipulation game by keeping Vaughn in the minors. Now barring injury, Vaughn is expected to be on their opening-day roster as the primary DH.
Vaughn, 22, who has never played above Class A, has dazzled the White Sox all spring, and so it seems the only uncertainty remaining is the exact day the White Sox tell him he's made the team.
“We’d like to have that message coming from the manager,’’ White Sox vice president Ken Williams says, “and not me through USA TODAY.’’
There are a few ways to think about this, but after the Mariners bullshit from earlier in the offseason that saw someone lose his job over blatantly admitting to service time manipulation, Andrew Vaughn was never not starting going to be in Chicago to start the 2021 season. So White Sox fans have Kevin Mather to thank for this on some level. Now, I still do think Vaughn will get extended prior to the season, but if he's not he'll be the opening day DH.
That's not to say that there aren't some cons to this.
1. He's only had about 200 MiLB plate appearances thanks to the cancellation of the MiLB season last year
2. Zack Collins has raked this spring and they need to figure out what they're doing with their former first rounder and *may* have curbed his swing and miss issues enough to warrant being the opening day DH
3. The team will only have 6 years of control of Andrew Vaughn, opposed to 7
But I'm not worried about the 2028 season. It's do or die mode for this club. They have to win as many games as possible and Andrew Vaughn being on the roster helps them win more games than him being in Schaumburg or Charlotte. It's that simple. Kenny Williams said it best:
“We understand the service-time issue that plays here,’’ Williams said, “but our feeling is that when you’re ready to help the major-league club, there’s a spot for you. We’re trying to put the best team out there. We have proven that over and over again.
Now let me be the first to say that since this is coming from Bob Nightengale, it has to be taken with more than one grain of salt. He's as blatant a mouthpiece for the organization as there is in baseball, maybe even all of sports. This article is different since it is littered with quotes from Kenny Williams, but I also wouldn't be surprised if there was an extension announced in the coming days and this article was meant to say, "see we don't play the service time games anyways!!" and they win a ball game on the field of public perception. James Fox is usually dead on on these types of transactions and if an extension is announced, we should look for it to be something like this:
Which would render all service time useless. It'd be a win for the player and a win for the club.
Nevertheless, we're 1 week away from opening day. I CANNOT FUCKING WAIT!!! The ONLY bad thing about opening day this year is that the Sox open the season on the west coast and having a 9pm start time in Chicago. Waiting all day for the Sox to play will be like waiting for Christmas…