In another non-shocker in a series of not-shocking option decisions, the Boston Red Sox have exercised their 2019 option for Chris Sale. He’ll make $13.5 million next year.
A bargain given that Sale is one of the top pitchers in the game and, barring an injury late in the season, likely would’ve been the Cy Young Award winner in the American League. He’ll still probably finish second behind Blake Snell. He’s still an inner-circle ace, still playing on the five-year, $32.5 million deal he signed with the White Sox back before the 2013 season began. That pact had two option years on it, this being the second.
Sale a posted a 2.11 ERA and 237/34 K/BB ratio over 158 innings in 2018. His health and stamina issues late in the year were apparent, but he closed out the World Series victory Sunday night and will have the whole offseason to rest.
Rays outfielder Austin Meadows has been placed on the 10-day injured list with a right thumb sprain, per a team announcement Sunday. No concrete timetable has been given for his return to the lineup just yet, but he’s scheduled to meet with a hand specialist on Sunday as the Rays try to determine the extent of his injury.
Meadows, 23, suffered the sprain in the seventh inning of Saturday’s 6-5 loss to the Red Sox. He lined a two-run triple into the right-center field gap — one of a franchise-record four triples that the Rays recorded in the game — but slid awkwardly into third base and jammed his right thumb in the process. He didn’t appear to be in obvious pain following the hit, however, nor was he removed from the game at the time.
Prior to the setback, Meadows carried a hefty .351/.422/.676 batting line with six homers, 19 RBI, and a 1.097 OPS through his first 83 plate appearances of 2019. He was replaced by Guillermo Heredia in right field for Sunday’s series finale and will likely lose a few starts to Avisaíl García as well.
In a series of corresponding moves, right-handed reliever Jake Faria was optioned to Triple-A Durham, infielder/outfielder Andrew Velazquez and righty reliever Emilio Pagán were recalled from Triple-A, and reliever Hunter Wood was placed on the paternity list. Second baseman Joey Wendle was also reinstated from the 10-day injured list after rehabbing a left hamstring strain and is scheduled take over the keystone during the Rays’ matinee against the Red Sox on Sunday.