Earlier this week it was rumored that the Chicago White Sox and starting pitcher Chris Sale were working on a new deal. Well, that rumor has turned into reality. This afternoon, the White Sox and Sale agreed on a five-year, $32.5 million deal.
The young left-hander is now firmly implanted as the South Siders’ future. Finishing sixth in the American League Cy Young Award voting in 2012, locking him up to a long-term deal seemed inevitable. However, with a late season slide last year, some were second-guessing his duraibility.
With a five year, multi-million-dollar contract, it seems as if the Sox have no worries when it comes to him being able to maintain his dominance for at least the next half decade.
To me, this deal makes a ton of sense. Yes, Sale showed some late year fatigue in 2012. But for a guy switching from a reliever to a starter in his first full MLB season, it was somewhat expected. With some added muscle from an offseason work out regimen and the confidence this new contract will give him, he is on pace to once again be a Cy Young candidate in 2013.
This new deal is also an indication that he is one step closer to getting the Opening Day nod from Sox manager Robin Ventura. Although I believe Jake Peavy, who has earned his stripes as a starter in the league, should be the one to take the rock for the White Sox come April 1, Sale is not a bad option either.
I believe his contract is a sign of things to come on the South Side. With a group of talented young arms in their rotation and bullpen, the Sox will want to lock up as many of them as they can. Pitching is also an important asset of any playoff team, which is why the Sox deciding to spend their money on building a dominating staff bodes well for their future.
A few more details with Sale’s deal include the potential for him to earn $57.7 million over seven years. Also, if he wins the Cy Young, he could make up to $60 million.
Matt Malecha is a Chicago White Sox writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @MattMalecha.