Chris Sale is the latest All-Star to agree to a long-term extension before hitting free agency.
The left-hander agreed to a five-year, $145 million deal with the defending World Series champion Boston Red Sox, pending a physical, a person with direct knowledge of the contract negotiations told USA TODAY Sports. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deal hasn’t been finalized.
Sale, who turns 30 next week, was set to become a free agent after this season. He will make $15 million this season, the final club option year of the five-year, $32.5 million extension he signed with the Chicago White Sox in 2013. The new five-year deal, with an annual average value of $29 million, begins in 2020.
Sale joins a long list of players signing extensions this spring. Mike Trout, Nolan Arenado, Paul Goldschmidt, Blake Snell and Alex Bregman have all agreed to extension north of $99 million this spring.
Sale has been one of the game’s best pitchers the last seven seasons, winning 99 games and averaging 198 innings per season with a 2.91 ERA and 10.9 strikeouts per nine innings. In 2018, he went 12-4 with a 2.11 ERA and 237 strikeouts in 158 innings and started the All-Star Game for a third consecutive time.
While he never has won a Cy Young Award, he has finished in the top six of the voting in each of the past seven seasons and four times has finished in the top four.
Contributing: Bob Nightengale