(670 The Score) While the White Sox’s full focus in 2021 is on winning a World Series championship, the two biggest moves they made ahead of the trade deadline that passed Friday afternoon also had an eye on 2022.
The White Sox acquired All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel from the Cubs on Friday and second baseman Cesar Hernandez from the Indians on Thursday. Each has a contract that expires at season’s end but which also includes a club option for 2022. And assuming everything goes to plan, the White Sox do envision exercising the club options on each player.
“We don’t view this as a one-and-done with either player,” general manager Rick Hahn said, according to James Fegan of the Athletic.
Kimbrel, 33, has a $16-million team option for 2022. He’s an eight-time All-Star, including here in 2021, when he has been sensational in posting a 0.49 ERA and 0.71 WHIP with 64 strikeouts in 36 2/3 innings.
Hernandez, 31, has a $6-million team option for 2022. He’s hitting .231 with 18 homers, 47 RBIs and a .738 OPS in 96 games this season.
The price the White Sox paid for Kimbrel -- they gave up Nick Madrigal, the No. 4 overall pick in the 2018 amateur draft, and reliever Codi Heuer -- would seem to make it smart business to retain Kimbrel for another season. And with that in mind, keeping Hernandez became more important when the White Sox sent Madrigal to the Cubs.