Mariners expected to sign 1B prospect Evan White to 6-year deal
Nov 22, 2019, 10:08 AM | Updated: 12:12 pm
The Mariners are set to make an incredibly unique move to lock up a player they see a a future piece of their foundation.
Sources confirm MLB Pipeline senior writer Jim Callis’ report that the Mariners are finalizing a long term deal with first baseman Evan White.
1B prospect Evan White (No. 58 on @MLBPipeline Top 100) is set to sign long-term deal with @Mariners. Guaranteed $24 mil over first six years, also includes three club options. Should be announced Monday. White hit .293/.350/.488 in Double-A this year, also outstanding defender.
— Jim Callis (@jimcallisMLB) November 22, 2019
According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, the deal is believed be a six-year, $24 million contract with three club options. With the options, the contract could max out to over $50 million. No player who has not played above Double-A has ever signed a big league contract, so White would be the first once it is finalized.
The Evan White deal with the Mariners can max out in the mid-$50 million range, sources tell ESPN. Barring a disastrous spring training, White is expected to be Seattle's first baseman on opening day. No reason to keep him in the minor leagues or manipulate his service time.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) November 22, 2019
White, 23, played the entire season at Double-A Arkansas in 2019 and has accumulated a slash of .296/.350/.488 for a combined .838 OPS in his three years in the minors since being selected by the Mariners with the 17th pick of the 2017 MLB Draft. He has won numerous awards with his glove in the minors and is regarded by many to be the best defensive first baseman in the minors.
While he was not a September call-up in 2019, White was one of the players who was brought to Seattle in the final week of the season to spend time in the clubhouse and participate in pre-game work and meetings to get a feel for what happens in the big leagues. He has participated in a number of the Mariners’ offseason camps, including Leadership Camp. As the deal would indicate, he is highly regarded within the organization for what he has done both on and off the field.
It is unique to see this kind of a commitment from an organization at such an early stage in the game for a young player. For White, he receives immediate security. On the Mariners’ side, it appears to be a minimal roll of the dice on a player they believe in. If White turns into the player they expect him to become, there should be great value for them both dollars-wise and in the intangibles department, as White’s commitment to the organization and what they are doing will be noted by others.
White was not placed on the Mariners’ 40-man roster at the Rule 5 deadline on Wednesday, but he will take one of Seattle’s five open spots – with a very good chance that he starts the 2020 season in the big leagues – once the deal is finalized. That is not expected to happen until early next week as a physical must be taken.