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.