ANOTHER Extension in the Works: Chris Sale and the Red Sox Reportedly Close to a Deal (UPDATES)

There’s really nothing new left to say in the intro to these posts anymore, because they’re becoming so frequent. Here’s a list of the (more or less) star player’s who’ve received contract extensions so far this Spring: Alex BregmanEloy JimenezAaron NolaMax KeplerJorge PolancoLuis SeverinoNolan Arenado, Mike Trout, Paul Goldschmidt, and Blake Snell.

And you can add Red Sox ace Chris Sale to the list.

According to the Boston Globe, “Chris Sale and the Red Sox are nearing an agreement on a contract extension that will keep the star lefthander in Boston for years to come, according to Major League sources.” As MLB Trade Rumors points out, this deal, if completed, will be the 17th contract extension signed this offseason. It’ll also be the sixth by a would-be free agent and the fifth worth more than $100M (if that’s, indeed, where it ends up). We don’t have financial details yet, but I’m sure they’ll trickle out shortly, and we’ll update when they become available.

In the meantime, you’ll note that Sale, 29, was slated to be a free agent at the end of this season, when his 7-year/$57.5M deal with the Red Sox (originally signed with the White Sox back in 2013) was set to expire. But now, he’ll likely stick with the Red Sox for the rest of his career.

It is becoming ever more clear that players have absolutely no interest in testing free agency right now, with so much uncertainty surrounding the next CBA. Obviously, a lot can still change, but that’s not exactly great news for a Cubs team that just took the offseason off (justifiably or not). At the same time, the Cubs have a great number of extension candidates, themselves, including two starts, Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant, who’ve indicated a desire to stay put for the rest of their careers.

UPDATE: If Jeff Passan is right, this could be a pretty solid extension for the Red Sox:

Obviously, paying a pitcher $30M a year for five post-age-30 years is always going to be a risk, but Sale has posted five consecutive 5+fWAR seasons. And his two years before that? 4.9 fWAR and 4.8 fWAR. Sale did hit the DL last season with some shoulder inflammation, but he also pitched at the end of the regular season healthy and tossed 15.1 innings in the playoffs, including twice in the World Series.

Given that Patrick Corbin, same age, got $140M over six years without nearly as good of a track record, this feels like the right call for the Red Sox. And obviously, this also means they feel really good internally about his health going forward.

(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

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Michael Cerami began covering the Chicago Cubs for Bleacher Nation as a part-time contributor in 2015. One year later, he joined Bleacher Nation full-time, covering the Chicago Cubs and Major League Baseball. Today, Michael runs Bleacher Nation, contributing as a writer (Cubs, MLB) and an editor for all sections of the site, including the Chicago Bears, Bulls, and Blackhawks, as well as MLB, NBA, NHL, and NFL. In 2019, Michael was the co-host of NBC Sports Chicago's Cubs Post-Game Show Outside the Ivy. You can find him on Twitter/X @Michael_Cerami

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