GLENDALE, Ariz. — Tim Anderson missed a third straight game on Monday for personal reasons, with the belief being that the White Sox are engaged in discussions with their shortstop about a long-term extension.
A source confirmed MLB.com's first suggestion that a motive for Anderson's absence has been contract talks for the second-year player.
Anderson, who is hitting .333/.333/.472 with a home run and three RBIs in 36 plate appearances this spring, last played on Friday but clarified he isn't injured. He said early Monday that he was dealing with a "personal problem" and may return to action by Tuesday but offered no other details.
"I'm just trying to take care of that before I get back into things," Anderson said.
A team official said the club wouldn't confirm nor deny the initial report and that no news is imminent.
Anderson, 22, had a fantastic rookie campaign after he debuted on June 10. He hit .283/.306/.432 with nine home runs and 30 RBIs and 10 stolen bases in 431 plate appearances in 2016. He produced 2.8 Wins Above Replacement, according to baseball-reference.com.
Unless he qualifies as a super two, Anderson isn't likely to reach arbitration until 2020.
Anderson would be the latest young White Sox star to sign an extension.
Boston Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale inked a team-friendly deal with the White Sox in 2013 that still has three years remaining. A year after that, Jose Quintana signed another team-friendly contract that could keep him with the White Sox through 2020. The team also extended Adam Eaton's deal in 2015.
All three contracts made each player far more enticing options on the trade market.
The team could be keeping Anderson off the field until a potential deal is finalized. Manager Rick Renteria also cited a personal matter as the reason for Anderson's absence.
"He's fine," Renteria said.