It didn't matter what he did this spring, Chicago White Sox top outfield prospect Eloy Jimenez was not going to start the 2019 season with the big league club.
On Wednesday, the White Sox made it official that he would be optioned to Triple-A to start the season, and Houston Astros pitcher Collin McHugh sent out a very critical tweet that blasted Chicago for making this decision.
Wishing Eloy the best of luck as he goes to AAA to work on...defense? baserunning? creating excess value for a $1.5 billion franchise that hasn’t made the playoffs in a decade? bunting? https://t.co/qJsFq6FpFC— Collin McHugh (@Collin_McHugh) March 14, 2019
The White Sox aren't going to publicly admit they are exploiting the service-time rules by sending Jimenez down, even though he looks major league ready despite a rough spring where he slashed .154/.154/.346.
Until this rule is changed through the CBA, you can't blame teams for doing this. They'd be stupid if they didn't. However, McHugh's point is spot on: what does he have to work on in the minors?
This kind of thing might fracture a relationship between a player and an organization, but there's a rumor circulating that Jimenez and the White Sox might be close to agreeing on an eight-year, $100 million extension.
Well, that might make it worth being in Triple-A for a couple weeks.