Though I would love to hear the words actually come out Chris Sale’s mouth, there have been reports that the flame-throwing southpaw is open to discussing a contract extension with the Red Sox before his contract expires at the end of the 2019 season.
A report about the willingness to sign an extension came from NBC Sports Boston’s Evan Drellich, who also wrote that an MRI showed no structural damage to his shoulder. That shoulder, of course, caused him to miss significant time in the second half this past summer. This goes back to what has been the biggest concern with Sale, coupled with his tendency to wear down late in seasons, as it was unclear if there would be any offseason work needed on the shoulder. But this is excellent news about the shoulder; it essentially means that, barring something unexpected happening, Sale should be good to go heading into the 2019 season with just some rest and relaxation.
But if Sale likes playing in Boston, and he likes having the chance to compete for World Series titles, and he’s willing to talk about working out a contract extension … well then the Red Sox should absolutely do it. Sale is unquestionably among the most dominant starters in baseball. We’ve seen his devastating slider, and we’ve seen his fierce competitiveness on the mound. As a Red Sox fan, it’s impossible to not love the guy. Well, except for when he goes to the hospital because of belly button ring issues, but that’s a story for another day.
The reality of the situation is, when the Red Sox traded for Sale ahead of the 2017 season, they paid a big price. They had to send some of the most highly touted prospects in all of baseball let alone their own organization, most notably Yoan Moncada and Michael Kopech, to Chicago in order to bring Sale to town.
Sure, they’ve already gotten one World Series out of it. If that’s all they get, it’s more than most teams get for their blockbuster gambles. Still, the Sale trade was one of the big blockbuster moves in recent memory. Wouldn’t it be great to get more than three seasons out of him? To quote the despicable Todd Alquist from Breaking Bad, “no matter how much you got, how could you turn your back on more?” After all, Sale will only be 30 years old during the 2019 season. There’s reason to believe he still has plenty of great years ahead of him.
I know for sure that I don’t want 2019 to be Sale’s last year in Boston. And based on these reports, it doesn’t seem like Sale wants that either. It would cost some serious dough to keep him around for a while, but there are some players that you just have to dig deep into your pockets for to keep them in your uniform. Sale is one of those players, and I’d like to see an extension happen sooner rather than later.