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Friday, March 8, 2013
With deal done, Sale focusing on season

By Bruce Levine

Chris Sale
Chris Sale is happy to know he won't have to deal with his contract status for five years.
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Chicago White Sox pitcher Chris Sale is relieved to be able to put his contract negotiations behind him and focus on the season after the club announced Thursday his new deal which could total $60 million.

"The worst part of this game is the business side," Sale said. "I don't have to worry about the business side of baseball for the next five years. I can be like a kid again and just play, all I have to do is prepare myself and play."

Sale, who went 17-8 with a 3.05 ERA in his first season as a starter in 2012, will receive $32.5 million guaranteed over the first five years of the deal, with club options for the next two years. The White Sox hold options for 2018 at $12.5 million and for 2019 at $13.5 million.

Sale, who will be 24 on March 30, put the possibility of $30 million to $40 million in future earnings to the side in signing his new deal.

"I was very well-educated in the process of not only what I was getting but what I was giving up," Sale said. "I am just worried about what I do have, and I am very thankful for the opportunity I have."

Sale points to the support system around him as a major reason for his success last season, which included his first All-Star appearance and finishing sixth in Cy Young voting..

"I know it sounds like a cliché, but I am very grateful and feel very thankful for the people that I was surrounded by in this clubhouse and this organization," Sale said.

A source with knowledge of the negotiations related that the deal was actually agreed to on March 4.

"It was a whirlwind and kind of like a dream," Sale said. "You go through it (the last year) and in the offseason it kind of sinks in."

With a new contract comes new expectations.

"They are putting a lot of trust in me," Sale said. "I need to do everything I can to be the guy they want me to be. With this not only comes on-the-field responsibility but off-the-field responsibilities, too. I just need to be the best person I can be and stay the course."