Inflammation in his left shoulder sent him to the injured list twice last season, which could be cause for concern considering Sale tossed over 200 innings for three consecutive seasons entering 2018. He went 12-4 with a 2.11 ERA, 1.98 FIP, 0.861 WHIP, and 237 strikeouts en route to a World Series ring with the Red Sox.
His new deal also includes a $20 million option for 2025 that could become guaranteed based on a top-10 finish in the 2024 Cy Young vote, and the price could escalate up to $25 million based on his Cy Young finish in 2023 and '24. "I'm just focused kind of on what's going on and getting through spring training and getting ready".
Boston's payroll for purposes of the tax already is about $240 million, nearing the $246 million threshold for the second surtax.
Though Sale has been among the very best pitchers in baseball for each one of the past seven seasons, a contract extension is not without its risks. Plus World Series hero and former Yankees pitcher Nathan Eovaldi, who re-signed with Boston this winter.