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Red Sox exercise option on Chris Sale

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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.

Report: Yankees could be in on Nolan Arenado

Nolan Arenado
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The Yankees appear to have moved on from free agent Manny Machado this winter, but could they be turning their attention to Rockies superstar Nolan Arenado? That’s the idea floated by Andy Martino of SNY, who hears that GM Brian Cashman has been involved in recent discussions concerning the third baseman. No official comments have been made to the press yet, though, and it’s not clear whether the Yankees would prefer to pursue Arenado prior to the 2019 season or partway through it.

The 27-year-old infielder earned his fourth consecutive All-Star nomination, Silver Slugger, and Gold Glove award in 2018 after slashing .297/.374/.561 with 38 home runs, a .935 OPS, and 5.7 fWAR across 673 plate appearances. There’s no question he’s provided immense value to Colorado’s lineup over the last half-decade, and his consistency and incredible power at the plate helped form the basis of the record $30 million arbitration figure he presented to the team last week. The Rockies countered at $24 million, however, and in doing so may have jeopardized their chances of convincing the infielder to forego free agency in 2020 and take a long-term deal instead.

Assuming he declines to negotiate an extension with the Rockies, Arenado’s decorated résumé and career-best 2018 numbers should attract plenty of interest around the league — a reality that could put considerable pressure on the Yankees (or any other interested party) to finesse a deal sooner rather than later. For now, the club is prepared to enter the 2019 season with hot-hitting third baseman Miguel Andújar, whom Martino speculates would be the “centerpiece” of any trade with Colorado.