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Chris Sale agrees to $32.5 million contract with White Sox

Mar 7, 2013, 3:10 PM EDT

Chris Sale AP

Chris Sale and the White Sox have agreed to a $32.5 million contract, the team announced.

Sale was already signed for $600,000 this season, but the deal will rip that up and give him a new $850,000 salary. And then he’ll get $3.5 million in 2014, $6 million in 2015, $9.15 million in 2016, and $12 million in 2017. Chicago also now has a 2018 option for $12.5 million and a 2019 option for $13.5 million.

Sale would have been arbitration eligible for the first time next season, so this deal buys out all three seasons of arbitration eligibility and his first season of free agency while giving the White Sox options on his second and third seasons of free agency. For a total of $32.5 million that’s a very worthwhile commitment for the White Sox and guaranteeing yourself $32.5 million is never a bad thing for a 24-year-old pitcher.

After thriving as a reliever initially Sale shifted to the rotation last season and threw 192 innings with a 3.05 ERA and 192/51 K/BB ratio. He ranked among the AL’s top five in wins, ERA, WHIP, opponents’ batting average, and strikeout rate at age 23, establishing himself as one of the best young starters in baseball.

  1. vanmorrissey - Mar 7, 2013 at 3:19 PM

    NIce for both sides. Smart moves. Angels-Mike Trout, you’re next. Get it done.

    • Ben - Mar 7, 2013 at 3:41 PM

      Trout’s success is an order of magnitude greater than Sale’s. There’s almost no chance of that deal unless Trout gets cold feet about his future.

  2. mordecofe - Mar 7, 2013 at 3:30 PM

    Looks like an even better deal (from South Side Sox). 5 years + 2 option years.

    UPDATE: And now Dan Hayes has weighed in with even better news. The deal is for five years, but it’s only $32.5MM instead of $60MM. That makes a lot more sense and is simply amazing. He now only needs to be worth 7-8 WAR over those five years to earn his money. And the team isn’t hamstrung.

    Yearly salary breakdown: $850K in ’13, $3.5MM in ’14, $6MM in ’15, $9.15MM in ’16, $12MM in ’17 with options of $12.5MM and $13.5MM in ’18 and ’19.

  3. thebadguyswon - Mar 7, 2013 at 3:40 PM

    Angels-Trout would be a smart move.

    This one is smart only if Sale stays healthy. He might, but when you watch him it makes your elbow hurt just sitting in your easy chair.

  4. uyf1950 - Mar 7, 2013 at 4:06 PM

    Seems like a very good deal for the White Sox. As long as Sale can remain healthy all he needs to be through the 2015 season is about league average. After that he really doesn’t have to be much better then league average come the 2017 through 2019 seasons to justify what the Sox would be paying him.

  5. sportsfanjay - Mar 7, 2013 at 4:21 PM

    Great deal for the Sox as the most they’ll pay until 2019 for a potential true ace is 13.5 million. It shows a lot for Sale’s character…and his agent. (Obviously not Scott Boras) Great Job Rick Hahn!

    • jwbiii - Mar 7, 2013 at 5:16 PM

      Stephen Drew and his agent agree with you!

  6. andreweac - Mar 7, 2013 at 4:25 PM

    Pitchers have a lot more incentive to lock in a deal early because of health.

    Why would Trout settle now?

  7. randygnyc - Mar 7, 2013 at 4:59 PM

    Money well spent. Sale is going to be a truly elite pitcher once he fills out his frame.

  8. chacochicken - Mar 7, 2013 at 6:20 PM

    Judging by the photo, I think his Crane Kick form still needs work.

  9. El Bravo - Mar 7, 2013 at 7:06 PM


  10. weaselpuppy - Mar 7, 2013 at 11:24 PM

    his motion scares me a little, but all in all a good deal for both sides.

  11. bobdog93 - Mar 8, 2013 at 7:02 AM

    anything can happen when a player is that young, he could be the next Pedro Martinez or not pan out until his mid to late 30s like Jamie Moyer

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