The Seattle Mariners have agreed to terms with their Double-A first baseman, Evan White. The contract will be a long-term contract worth over $55 million. According to Jim Callis’ Twitter page, “1B prospect Evan White (No. 58 on @MLBPipeline Top 100) is set to sign a long-term deal with the Mariners. Guaranteed $24 mil over the first six years and also includes three club options. The deal should be announced Monday. White hit .293/.350/.488 in Double-A this year, also outstanding defender”.
The contract guarantees the 23-year-old righty $24 million over six years with three club options that could total up to $55.5 million. The deal is similar to the one the Philadelphia Phillies gave to Scott Kingery, and the one the Chicago White Sox signed with Eloy Jimenez. What makes the White deal a bit more interesting is that he has not played above Double-A ball. Both Kingery and Jimenez played at the Triple-A level prior to their deals. There are concerns on both sides of the deal. First, from a player’s perspective, the deal could cost White much more money if he plays well. And then from the team’s perspective, it guarantees money to someone that has never played at the major league level, and may not ever play at that level. The latter seems very unlikely.
Who is Evan White
Evan White played his college baseball at the University of Kentucky. He was the 17th overall pick by the Mariners in the 2017 MLB Draft.
Steve Adams of MLBtraderumors wrote, “White… spent the 2019 campaign with the Mariners’ Double-A in Arkansas, where he batted .293/.350/.488 with 18 home runs, 13 doubles, two triples, a 7.3 percent walk rate and a 23 percent strikeout rate in 400 plate appearances. Those numbers were particularly impressive in a pitcher-friendly setting, evidenced by White’s robust 132 wRC+ (indicating that he was 32 percent better at the plate than the average hitter in the Texas League)”.
White is an elite defensive first baseman. He should contend for a 2020 Opening Day roster spot against current Mariner’s first basemen Austin Nola and Daniel Vogelbach. Vogelbach could be moved to designated hitter if he cannot compete at first.