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Red Sox, Chris Sale agree to five-year, $145 million contract extension

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The Red Sox and Chris Sale have agreed to a five-year, $145 million contract extension.

Sale, who turns 30 years old next weekend, was in the final year of his five-year contract extension with the White Sox signed back in March 2013. It eventually became seven years due to club options. The lefty is earning $13.5 million this season, so the $30 million average annual value of the new extension is quite the raise.

Sale was dominant for the Red Sox last season, going 12-4 with a 2.11 ERA and a 237/34 K/BB ratio in 158 innings. He finished fourth in AL Cy Young Award balloting, but likely would have finished higher if he hadn’t gotten injured in mid-August and missed roughly a month of action. Sale was not quite as dominant in the postseason, but he pitched the final inning in Game 5 of the World Series against the Dodgers, wrapping up the championship for the Red Sox.

The last four days have seen eight contract extensions, largely with notable players. Brandon Lowe, Alex Bregman, Ryan Pressly, Mike Trout, Eloy Jiménez, Blake Snell, and Paul Goldschmidt have each signed extensions since Tuesday. Other notable extensions since the end of last season include Nolan Arenado, Luis Severino, and Aaron Nola. This is why you go after the Bryce Harpers and Manny Machados in free agency when you can because the game’s best players won’t be reaching free agency with nearly as much volume as they used to — they’re all signing extensions.

Ketel Marte shut down with back injury

Ketel Marte
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With just over a week left in the regular season, the Diamondbacks have elected to shut down infielder/outfielder Ketel Marte. Marte has been dealing with some lower back inflammation and stiffness over the last few days; on Friday, the team revealed that he was diagnosed with a stress reaction as well.

It doesn’t look as though the injury will compromise Marte’s 2020 campaign, but as Craig noted on Wednesday, his absence will likely have some effect on his NL MVP candidacy. The 25-year-old will wrap his first All-Star season with a .329/.389/.592 batting line, 32 home runs, a .981 OPS, and a staggering, career-best 7.1 fWAR through 628 plate appearances.

Marte told reporters Thursday that the back pain had been an issue “for the past two months,” though he didn’t comment on the severity of the injury. Despite his ability to play through the pain since July, the issue has clearly escalated in the last week or so. Although the loss of their most valuable contributor may have a negative impact on the D-backs’ chances of competing in the postseason, it’s undeniably a wise move to let Marte recuperate rather than pushing him to play for another week and running the risk of further injury.

Entering Friday’s series against the Padres — their last road series of the regular season — Arizona still has a sizable gap to close in order to earn one of two NL wild card spots. They’re five games out of postseason contention, with the Nationals, Brewers, Cubs, Mets, and Phillies ahead of them.