Chris Sale is reportedly interested in signing an extension with the Boston Red Sox, and they shouldn’t hesitate to make it happen.
Boston Red Sox fans recently received some very good news: Chris Sale is open to talking about a contract extension.
Considering Sale is one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball, and that he’s set to hit free agency following the 2019 season, Red Sox fans should be overjoyed that he is interested in staying in Boston. As a Red Sox fan, I’ve often called Sale the most electrifying starting pitcher they’ve had since Pedro Martinez in the late 1990s.
Last year, Sale went 12-4 with a 2.11 ERA and recorded the final out in the World Series. He has a career 2.89 ERA over the course of eight seasons.
The biggest concern with Sale is the health of his throwing shoulder, as a late-season stint on the disabled list in 2018 may have robbed him of the American League Cy Young award. But according to Evan Drellich of NBC Sports Boston, an MRI showed no structural damage to the shoulder, and Sale should be just fine moving forward.
Sale turns 30 years old before the 2019 season, still very much in his prime. As the ace of the rotation and one of the league’s nastiest flamethrowers, it makes you wonder what kind of contract it would take to keep Sale in Boston long-term.
The Los Angeles Dodgers recently signed Clayton Kershaw to a three-year contract worth $93 million dollars, guaranteeing him $31 million per year. In early 2015, the Washington Nationals signed Max Scherzer to a seven-year contract for $210 million.
The Red Sox themselves are no stranger to big contracts for ace pitchers, as they inked David Price to a seven-year, $217 million deal ahead of the 2016 season.
The point here? These are all big-name pitchers, and it often takes big money to keep them around for the foreseeable future.
Sale is right up there in the conversation with Kershaw and Scherzer as one of baseball’s elite, and seeing as how he has taken hometown discounts before (during his tenure with the Chicago White Sox), he might feel that it is time for him to finally receive a nice, thick contract, especially now that he finally has a World Series ring.
Of course, if Sale’s biggest priority is remaining in Boston in order to keep competing for more rings, then he might be willing to take a discount to make it a little more feasible.
But regardless, the Red Sox should make their own priority to get Sale extended. When they acquired him from Chicago before the 2017 season, they had to give up a good chunk of their farm system — including top-tier prospects Yoan Moncada and Michael Kopech — to make it happen.
It was absolutely worth it as Sale played a big role in Boston winning the 2018 World Series, including striking out Manny Machado to clinch the championship in Game 5 at Dodger Stadium.
But given the hefty price the Red Sox had to pay to bring Sale to New England, they should do whatever is necessary to milk all they can out of him, especially while he is still in the prime of his career.