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MLB baseball: Sox’ Sale set until 2024

  • Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale (41) works in the first inning of a spring training baseball game against the Atlanta Braves Saturday, March 16, 2019, in Fort Myers, Fla. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

  • Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale (41) works against the Atlanta Braves in the second inning of a spring training baseball game Saturday, March 16, 2019, in Fort Myers, Fla. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

  • FILE - In this March 7, 2019, file photo, Houston Astros pitcher Justin Verlander throws during the first inning of a spring training baseball game against the Miami Marlins at the Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium on Thursday, in Jupiter, Fla. (David Santiago/Miami Herald via AP, File)


The Associated Press
Saturday, March 23, 2019

FORT MYERS, Fla. — After winning a World Series with the Red Sox, Chris Sale preferred to stay in Boston rather than find out what he would be worth as a free agent after this season.

“When half the league isn’t trying to win anything, and we have a team that’s trying to win every year? That says a lot. As players, you can’t not respect it,” Sale said on Saturday after Boston announced a deal that guarantees an additional $145 million from 2020 to 2024.

Sale, who turns 30 on March 30, is guaranteed $15 million this year under the second option year of the contract he signed with the Chicago White Sox before the 2013 season. The deal wound up being worth $59 million over seven years plus award bonuses. The new contract raises his guarantee to $160 million over the next six seasons.

He gets $30 million salaries annually from 2020-22 and $27.5 million a year in 2023 and 2024. His salary can escalate by up to $2 million per season from 2021-24 based on finish in Cy Young Award voting.

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 Cy Young finish in 2023 and ‘24.

Sale is 103-62 with a 2.89 ERA and 1,789 strikeouts in 1,482⅓ innings in nine years. He has been an All-Star for seven straight years and started the last two All-Star Games.

Since Sale was acquired from Chicago in December 2016, he is 29-12 with a 2.56 ERA, holding opponents to a .196 batting average and averaging 13.17 strikeouts per nine innings.

AP source: Verlander getting extended, too

Justin Verlander and the Houston Astros have agreed to a contract adding an additional $66 million in guaranteed money for 2020 and ’21, a person with direct knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press.

The person spoke on Saturday on the condition of anonymity because the deal had not been announced.

A 36-year-old right-hander, Verlander is due $28 million in 2019, the final guaranteed season of a $180 million, seven-year deal he signed with Detroit before the 2013 season.

That contract included a $22 million for 2020 that would have become guaranteed if Verlander finished among the top five in Cy Young Award voting this year.

Verlander was traded from Detroit to Houston on Aug. 31, 2017, and helped the Astros win their first World Series that season. The 2011 AL MVP and Cy Young Award winner, he finished second in Cy Young voting last season after going 16-9 with a 2.52 ERA in 34 starts. He pitched 214 innings and led the AL with 290 strikeouts.

The seven-time All-Star, entering his 15th season, spent his entire big league career with the Tigers before the 2017 trade. In his MVP season, Verlander won a career-high 24 games and had a career-low 2.40 ERA, which led the AL. He pitched 251 innings and struck out 250 batters that season, which were both the most in the AL.

Verlander takes great pride in his durability and has pitched more than 200 innings in 11 seasons, leading the AL in three of those years.

He is 204-123 with a 3.39 ERA and 2,706 strikeouts in 419 career start . Verlander has appeared in the postseason in seven seasons, going 13-7 with a 3.19 ERA in 25 games with 24 starts.

Verlander was great for the Astros after the trade in 2017, going 5-0 with a 1.06 ERA in five starts in the regular season and winning four games in the postseason. He went 2-0 with a 0.56 ERA against the Yankees in the AL Championship Series that season and was selected MVP of that series.

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