Chris Sale was one of the better pitchers in all of MLB last season, which is why the Chicago White Sox decided to award their left-handed ace with a new contract extension. The Sox and Sale agreed to a three-year, $35 million deal that will buyout his ever so important arbitration years. The deal also includes two option years – which would carry into his free agency years – that could make the contract worth upwards of $60 million.
White Sox will give Chris Sale 35 million with options that could take deal $60 million.
— Bruce Levine (@ESPNBruceLevine) March 7, 2013
This extension will take effect in 2014, with Sale making only $600,000 this season. The pre-arbitration extension is starting to become the “in” thing ever since the Tampa Bay Rays signed Evan Longoria to a multi-year deal in his rookie season. But were the White Sox smart to lock up Sale?
On the surface, this is smart deal for the White Sox and more importantly Sale. Anytime a player can take guaranteed money over arbitration is the way to go-especially when it’s a pitcher like Sale who some fear will fall apart because of the way his body is built. This deal also helps the White Sox exhale for the next three years. They know Chris Sale is locked up and they know what he is getting paid, so they can plan for the future accordingly. The negative side of me, however, is somewhat concerned about Sale’s durability throughout the duration of the contract.
I’m not a doctor or a pitching mechanics expert by any means, but it’s hard not to worry about Sale’s makeup and delivery. Other than that obvious concern, though, I believe the White Sox made the right move by extending Sale. Lastly, I believe this deal gives me – and many other White Sox fans – security about buying a jersey in the not so distant future.