CHICAGO (AP) Reliever Nate Jones and the Chicago White Sox have agreed to a complicated $8 million, three-year contract, a deal that could increase to $22.55 million over six seasons if his elbow stays healthy and three options are exercised.
In addition, if Jones is Chicago's closer over the six seasons and finishes games regularly, he would earn $26.3 million.
A right-hander who turns 30 next month, Jones gets $900,000 next year, $1.9 million in 2017 and $3.95 million in 2018.
Chicago has options at the major league minimum for 2019, $3.75 million for 2020 and $4.25 million for 2021, but if Jones does not need another Tommy John surgery by the end of the 2018 season, the option prices would increase to $4.65 million for 2019 and $5.15 million for 2020, and 2021 would become a mutual option for $6 million. If a club option is declined, he would get a $1.25 million buyout.
He also has salary escalators if he is a closer, based on games finished. His salaries in 2017 and '18 would go up by $100,000 each for 30 and each additional five through 50 in the immediately preceding season. For 2019, his salary would go up by $100,000 apiece for 30 and each additional five through 50 in 2018, and $125,000 each for 55 and 60. And for 2020 and '21, his salaries would increase by $125,000 each for 30, 35, 40 and 45 in the immediately preceding season; $150,000 apiece for 50 and 55; and $200,000 for 60.
Jones had a $660,000 salary this year, when he returned from Tommy John surgery in August and went 2-2 with a 3.32 ERA in 19 appearances. He averaged 12.79 strikeouts per nine innings with a 4.5 strikeout-to-walk ratio while holding opponents to a .188 average.
Jones is 14-7 with a 3.52 ERA in 156 appearances over four seasons. He was eligible for salary arbitration and would have been eligible for free agency after the 2017 World Series.