BOSTON (CBS) — Entering the final year of his contract, Chris Sale’s future in Boston has been a question all spring long. But as of Saturday morning, his contract extension with the Red Sox was official.
The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier was first to report Thursday that Sale and the Red Sox were “nearing” an agreement. Speier did not report the exact details but The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal did in the hours that followed: five years, $145 million. The contract will go into effect in the 2020 season, and it’s pending Sale passing a physical.
The Red Sox initially acquired Sale in December of 2015, in exchange for Michael Kopech and Yoan Moncada, plus two other prospects. In two seasons with the Red Sox, Sale has compiled a 29-12 record and 2.56 ERA with 545 strikeouts in 372.1 innings pitched.
Sale, who will turn 30 at the end of March, recorded the final three outs of the 2018 World Series.
The left-hander, who finished fourth in Cy Young voting last year and second the year before, is set to make $15 million this season.
Though Sale has been among the very best pitchers in baseball for each one of the past seven seasons, a contract extension is not without its risks. Sale faded down the stretch in 2017, posting a 4.09 ERA in August and September after posting a 2.37 ERA from opening day through the end of July. In 2018, a shoulder issue ended Sale’s Cy Young hopes and limited him to just five starts (and 17 total innings) over the final two months of the regular season. In his seven postseason appearances (four starts), he has a 5.76 ERA and a 1-2 record.
But both the Red Sox and Sale expressed confidence about the condition of the left-hander’s throwing shoulder during spring training, and any past issues apparently did not dissuade the Red Sox from locking up Sale for the long term.