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White Sox decline Tim Anderson’s $14M contract option, making him a free agent

Jun 30, 2023; Oakland, California, USA; Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson (7) jogs on the field before the game against the Oakland Athletics at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago White Sox are moving on from shortstop Tim Anderson. (Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports) (USA TODAY USPW / reuters)

The Chicago White Sox declined the $14 million club option on Tim Anderson for the 2024 season, a release from the team said on Saturday. They will pay a $1 million buyout to part ways with the shortstop.

A post on X, formerly Twitter, thanked Anderson following the news:

The club followed up with a video tribute to the 30-year-old. It chronicled his eight seasons in Chicago, beginning with the 2013 MLB Draft where they selected him 17th overall.

He earned an American League All-Star nod in 2021 and returned as a starter in the 22 season. His tenure garnered accolades including the 2020 AL Silver Slugger Award and the AL batting title in 2019.

The Tuscaloosa, Alabama, native was top five in the AL batting title race for three consecutive seasons (2019-21). He had one of MLB’s top five bats in 2019 and 2020, with respective averages of .335 (second) and .322 (fourth).

But this season, he struggled. In 123 games, he hit just one home run with a .245 batting average. He recorded 25 RBI, 52 runs scored and 13 stolen bases. His .582 OPS was the worst among MLB shortstops, while his .296 slugging percentage was the lowest of any American League batter

Losing a wild brawl with José Ramirez was likely the lowest point of the difficult campaign. Anderson was issued a six-game suspension from MLB that was later reduced to five games through a settlement.

A rebuild seems to be on the horizon for the White Sox, who entered the offseason disappointed. Their 61-101 record landed them fourth in the American League Central. Longtime front office personnel vice president Ken Williams and general manager Rick Hahn were fired amid the rocky campaign.

They also declined closer Liam Hendriks’ club option for 2024. Instead of retaining him with a $15 million salary, he will be paid a $15 million buyout over the next 10 years in annual installments of $1.5 million. Hendriks was faced with a non-Hodgkin lymphoma diagnosis in the offseason. The right-hander missed the start of the year undergoing treatment and then underwent Tommy John surgery in August.

Saturday featured other moves across MLB in preparation for free agency, which officially begins on Monday. Chicago Cubs right-hander Marcus Stroman reportedly opted out his contract with $21 million and a year remaining. Meanwhile, the Cincinnati Reds declined to pick up franchise icon Joey Votto’s $20 million club option.