One of the Red Sox stars who was facing free agency has now re-upped with the club. Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts and Rick Porcello are still yet to commit their futures to the team, but for now, Chris Sale is staying with Boston. All offseason the discussion has been central to Mookie Betts and his extension. But when Chris Sale said “My phone is on”, in reference to extension talks, Dombrowski knew what he needed to get done.
In the couple months since Sale’s comments, the two sides were working hard on a new contract. Dombrowski gave up a lot to bring Chris Sale to Boston, and wasn’t going to let him just walk away. He was facing free agency at the end of this season, a luxury Sale has never experienced.
Entering 2013, Sale agreed to a deal to buy out his remaining arbitration years. He signed an incredibly team friendly deal of 5 years and 32 million in total. In three seasons with the Red Sox, he’ll have made roughly just 30 million with incentives. This is absolutely nothing relative to how good he’s been since he’s got here, and all the leadership he’s provided (especially in a certain World Series comeback).
Sale Gets Breaded Up:
Which brings us to his new deal, finally paying Chris Sale what he deserves. The deal was agreed upon between the two sides Friday afternoon. It’s a five year deal stretching from 2020, through 2024, with a value around 150 million total. This would make the average annual value about 30 million. Certainly not a bargain, but for one of the top 5 or 10 pitchers in the league, it’s a reasonable price tag.
Questions will be asked about the durability of Sale. Or if the fatigue he’s experienced in cohesion with arm issues will subdue. The hope for the Red Sox is that it does. The hope is that he can put these issues behind him. Also the hope is for him to use his off-speed pitches to help himself become more of a finesse pitcher. With a guy who has faced issues with falling off later in the season, this much money is slightly concerning.
He absolutely has earned every penny of it, and more. But for the Red Sox, this deal is certainly a risk. They now have close to 100 million tied up in four starting pitchers (Sale, Porcello, David Price and Nathan Eovaldi).
What this Means for Boston’s future
The hope is Sale keeping his form and maintaining consistent seasons with an ERA around 3. If this happens for the next few years, this contract will be completely justifiable. Could Sale have tested the open market and/or pushed for a contract with 35+ million a year? Sure he could’ve. He decided to stay faithful to the team that had faith in him, and I think he’s going to reward this team for locking him up. The deal allows the team to still be flexible enough to sign Mookie, and hopefully Xander, while still keeping a huge piece in Sale around.
Does he possibly have a Cy Young in his future? Find out!
Good move Dombrowski, now make Mookie next.