Veteran southpaw Chris Sale discussed the possibility of reaching an extension with the Red Sox in an interesting chat with Alex Speier of the Boston Globe. The club has previously acknowledged some discussions, but Sale’s comments seemingly take things a bit further.
Sale suggests that there is a serious effort to work out an agreement.“I think we’re both mutually invested in this,” he said. “We’ve both said on both sides that it’s a possibility, for sure.”
He also indicated that he doesn’t consider a deal a necessity. “Obviously, this go-round is a little different than the last one with the contract situation,” Sale said in reference to his original contract extension. Sale says his family’s financial security was a driving force in that accord, but now affords him flexibility in deciding upon his next contract.
It’s still unclear what sort of structure is being considered — “we have a couple different scenarios,” Sale says — but the potential CBA tax impact will surely weigh heavily from the team’s perspective. It’s less clear just what will drive Sale when the time comes to make a final decision. While he indicates that he’s much more concerned with competing on the field than in the hot stove marketplace, he has previously made clear he does have a desire to “set the bar” for other players. Those looking to understand Sale’s perspective will certainly want to give Speier’s interview a full read.
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It’ll be interesting to see where the sides land, if indeed a deal is hammered out. If not, Sale will enter the 2019 season as one of the most closely watched players on the planet. He paces a stacked group of starters in MLBTR’s initial power ranking of the top 2019-20 free agents.