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.
Update #2 (6:21 PM EST): Make that $37.5 million, per Heyman.
Update (6:02 PM EST): The deal is for “around” $37 million with deferrals that lower the present-day value, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that free agent 1B/OF Mark Trumbo is close to a deal with the Orioles. He first reported that the two sides were back in touch earlier on Thursday afternoon. According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the deal is expected to be for three years and under $40 million.
Trumbo’s market hasn’t developed as he expected. The slugger turned down the Orioles’ $17.2 million qualifying offer back in November. Then the Orioles reportedly made a four-year contract offer to him in December but pulled it off the table. Most recently, a report indicated that Trumbo lowered his expectations to a three-year deal in the $40-50 million range.
Trumbo, 31, led the majors with 47 homers for the Orioles this past season. He also hit a solid .256/.316/.433 with 108 RBI in 667 plate appearances. With Trumbo back in the fold and some slight offensive upgrades made, the Orioles figure to have a formidable offense in 2017.
The Astros avoided arbitration with pitcher Mike Fiers, agreeing on a $3.45 million salary for the 2017 season, per Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle. The right-hander was in his first of three years of arbitration eligibility.
Fiers, 31, made 30 starts and one relief appearance for the Astros in 2016. He finished the year with a 4.48 ERA and a 134/42 K/BB ratio in 168 2/3 innings.
Fiers had a much better showing in 2015 as well as in limited action in 2014, so the Astros are hoping he rediscovers that effectiveness going forward. He’ll slot into the back of the starting rotation.