Spring Training '19

McAdam: Three takeaways from Chris Sale’s looming contract extension

Chris Sale and the Red Sox are in an agreement on a five-year contract extension that will pay Sale $145 million from 2020 through 2024, according to several reports. Sale needs only to pass a physical to make the deal

Here are three thoughts on the deal:

1. Sale took less to remain with the Red Sox.

While the deal is a big one, it's likely less than what Sale could have received on the open market.

Consider that three current major league starters -- Zack Greinke ($34.4 million average annual value); Clayton Kershaw ($31 million AAV); and Sale's own teammate, David Price ($31 million AAV)-- are currently in the middle of deals which pay more and that Sale has been the best, most consistent performer of the group, and realize that Sale almost certainly left some money on the table.

The free agent market was a muddled one over the last two offseasons and there were no guarantees, of course. But in all likelihood, someone would have paid Sale more than the Red Sox will.