Chris Sale, White Sox reach deal
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Chicago White Sox and left-hander Chris Sale have agreed on a five-year deal worth $32.5 million, with two option years that could bring the contract to $60 million, the team announced Thursday.
Sale 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. If either option is declined, Sale will receive a $1 million buyout.
Chris Sale was one of the most dominant pitchers in the major leagues in the first half of 2012, placing among the top four in wins, ERA, average against, OPS, and WHIP. The White Sox hope he doesn't tire again down the stretch.
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"A pitcher, regardless of his mechanics, there is a risk involved and a concern of potential breakdown," White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said. "We are confident in Chris' durability and obviously very optimistic about his future."
The 23-year-old Sale, who went 17-8 with a 3.05 ERA and made the All-Star Game in his first season as a starter, said Thursday morning he was trying to stay focused on pitching.
"I just try not to concentrate on any of the external things going on," Sale said. "It is just like leaving your wife and family home sick and you try not to bring that to the field with you. So I will just go about my business, and everything will kind of work itself out."
Hahn has been proactive when it comes to signing quality young left-handers. During spring training 2002 he helped then-GM Kenny Williams tie up Mark Buehrle to a three-year, $9 million deal. The Sox also tried for three years to sign John Danks to a long-term deal before signing him to a five-year, $65 million contract in the fall of 2011.
"Frankly, what this deal came down to was dealing with two risks," Hahn said. "Going year to year, which would lead to the potential downside of him walking out of the door in four years. Then there is the other risk of doing a multiyear deal that has the downside of potential injury and us being out a few bucks."