Red Sox chairman Tom Werner said today that the club has had contract extension talks with ace Chris Sale. Sale said last week that he hasn’t heard anything about an extension, so either those talks are new, they’re so preliminary that they haven’t registered with Sale or else there is some sort of miscommunication. Either way, Werner saying this today suggests that, yeah, the Sox at least want to lock up Sale.
Th Sox exercised their 2019 option for Chris Sale right after the season ended. He’ll make $13.5 million in 2019 and will be eligible for free agency after this campaign. One used to say things like “and he’ll be highly sought-after on the market!” but that was before the last two years killed the top end of the free agent market, so I suppose we’ll see.
As it stands, Sale continues to be one of the best pitchers in the game. He 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 notable, but he closed out the World Series-clinching victory last October and is reportedly in good health to start 2019.
The Red Sox salvaged the final game of their three-game home series against the Astros, winning 4-3 on Sunday afternoon. In doing so, they ended the Astros’ 10-game winning streak.
Xander Bogaerts struck the decisive blow, knocking in a run with a double in the seventh inning to break a 3-3 tie. Michael Chavis also hit another homer — his eighth of the season — while Mookie Betts collected three hits and scored three runs to raise his OPS to .899.
The Astros last lost on May 7 against the Royals, the second game of a three-game series. The Astros won the final game of that set, then swept the Rangers in a four-game series, the Tigers in three, and won the first two games against the Red Sox. It’s their second 10-game winning streak of the season, as they won 10 striaght between April 5-16, sweeping the Athletics, Yankees, and Mariners before losing the second of two games against the A’s in Oakland.
At 31-16, the Astros are slightly behind the Twins — in progress as of this writing — for the best winning percentage in the majors. The Red Sox, meanwhile, have made up some ground after ending April 13-17. They’re now 24-22, good for third place in the AL East.