Well that escalated quickly. It seems like only yesterday that rumors of the White Sox working to extend young left-handed ace Chris Sale began to surface ... because it pretty much was.
But if Bruce Levine is right, the Condor is locked in for the foreseeable future. Levin says the Sox have agreed to a five-year deal worth $60MM. The wording of the article is strange though, because it sure looks more like a guaranteed three-year deal worth $35MM, with team options over the next two seasons adding up to another potential $25MM. Those numbers could be off, and we'll be sure to keep you updated when clearer details emerge, whenever there are more.
If the length of the deal is for real, it will be only the second time the White Sox have given a pitcher a five-year deal, with John Danks extension from last year being the first. It could be a pretty sweet deal too, with the option years giving the team protection from the ever-looming specter that is an injury brought on by Sale's "unconventional" mechanics. And if the contract goes through for those five years, Sale only needs to be worth something like 12-13 WAR over those five years. He's been worth 9.0 bWAR over the past 286.1 innings.
Rick Hahn is potentially taking a pretty big gamble here, but if it holds, it'll be safe to call Sale the replacement face of the franchise after Paul Konerko rides off into the sunset. Hope you guys like watching a young ace blossom.
UPDATE: And now Dan Hayes has weighed in with even better news. The deal is for five years, but it's only $32.5MM instead of $60MM. That makes a lot more sense and is simply amazing. He now only needs to be worth 7-8 WAR over those five years to earn his money. And the team isn't hamstrung.
Yearly salary breakdown: $850K in '13, $3.5MM in '14, $6MM in '15, $9.15MM in '16, $12MM in '17 with options of $12.5MM and $13.5MM in '18 and '19.
I am beside myself.