The Boston Red Sox and Chris Sale reportedly agree to terms on a five-year extension worth around 150 million dollars, pending a physical which will not take place until next week. Ken Rosenthal then confirmed the deal will be for 145 million dollars.
Ace Chris Sale and the Boston Red Sox are in agreement on a five-year contract extension in the $150 million range, pending a physical, league sources tell ESPN. Deal adds to his current contract, covers the 2020-24 seasons. Physical next week. @Ken_Rosenthal had it done first.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 22, 2019
Chris Sale extension with #RedSox will be five years, $145 million, sources tell The Athletic. Sale will earn $15M this season in final year of current deal. Extension is pending physical. Will run from 2020 to ‘24.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) March 22, 2019
Coming off a World Series win, Sale and the Red Sox both expressed interest in reaching a long-term agreement. With free agency looming at the end of the upcoming season, the Red Sox decided now would be the best time to keep their ace.
Sale turns thirty next week. He has been to seven consecutive All-Star games, and earned six consecutive top five finishes in the American League Cy Young voting.
Remaining Roster Question marks
This move makes bringing Craig Kimbrel back to the team a very unlikely possibility, as they currently carry 240.8 million dollars in annual values, with the 246 million threshold looming. Others reaching free agency at the end of the campaign are Xander Bogaerts and Rick Porcello, and with this deal, it is unlikely that either will receive long-term deals.
The World Series champs will need to do some wheeling and dealing to keep the squad together. This is especially true considering part of their bullpen is getting weaker, and division rival New York has acquired arguably the best bullpen in baseball.
Rest of League Extensions
As this extension is likely being finished, it would be the 17th contract extended this spring alone. It is also the sixth by a player in the last year of his contract, and the fifth greater than 100 million in guaranteed money.
Much of this reason may come from how players view the slow pace of free agency, Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, for example. You can expect extensions like this are going to continue to be more likely.