The Chicago White Sox say they have agreed on a five-year, $32.5 million contract with left-handed starter Chris Sale.
The 23-year-old former Florida Gulf Coast University star went 17-8 with a 3.05 EA and 192 strikeouts in his first season a starter. The Naples resident was on the American League All-Star team and finished sixth in the Cy Young voting.
“I don’t think there’s a single thing I have no worries about,” White Sox GM Rick Hahn told the Chicago Tribune. “Certainly a pitcher, regardless of their mechanics, there’s a risk involved. There’s concern for a potential breakdown.
“(But) we are confident in Chris’ durability and very optimistic about his future. Frankly, what this came down to was bearing one of two risks: The risk of going year-to-year, which would lead to the potential downside of him walking out the door in four years; or the risk of doing a multi-year deal that has the downside of potential injury and us being out a few bucks along the way. We feel the more important reward is keeping him here long term.”
Hahn says the team is "thrilled to be able to reward Chris for his accomplishments," and said that Sale is one of the best young starters in the AL.
Sale will receive $850,000 in 2013, $3.5 million in 2014, $6.0 million in 2015, $9.15 million in 2016 and $12 million in 2017. The team holds options for 2018 ($12.5) and 2019 ($13.5). There is $1 million buyout on both team options.
Sale was a 2010 All-American, going 11-0 with a 2.01 ERA his junior season. He struck out 146 and walked 14, then was the 13th overall pick by the White Sox.
Sale was named the Cape Cod Baseball League Outstanding Pitcher in August 2009, while playing for the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox in Massachusetts.