FT MYERS – Boston Red Sox announced they’ve signed left-handed pitcher Chris Sale to a five-year contract extension that spans the 2020-2024 seasons. President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski made the announcement.
Sale, 29, is entering his 10th major league season, his third with the Red Sox. Selected by the White Sox in the first round of the 2010 June Draft, the left-hander spent his first seven professional seasons with Chicago before being acquired by Boston on December 6, 2016, in exchange for four minor league players. In his first two years with the Red Sox, Sale went 29-12 with a 2.56 ERA (106 ER/372.1 IP), a .196 opponent batting average, and a 0.92 WHIP while averaging 13.17 strikeouts per 9.0 innings in his 59 starts. He has also appeared in seven Postseason games (four starts) with Boston, notably recording the final three outs of the 2018 World Series by striking out the side in the decisive Game 5 at Dodger Stadium.
In each of his seven seasons as a starting pitcher (2012-18), Sale has finished in the top six in BBWAA American League Cy Young Award voting, including second in 2017 and fourth in 2018 with the Red Sox. The only other pitchers ever to finish in the top six in Cy Young Award voting in as many as seven consecutive years are Hall of Famer Greg Maddux (7; 1992-98) and Clayton Kershaw (7; 2011-17). Sale is also the only pitcher named to an All-Star team in each of the last seven years. He started the Midsummer Classic in 2016, 2017, and 2018, matching the longest streak in baseball history (also Lefty Gomez and Robin Roberts). Sale is the only pitcher ever to start multiple All-Star Games as a Red Sox, as well as the only pitcher ever to start consecutive All-Star Games for two different organizations.
Entering the 2019 season, Sale ranks first in the Live Ball Era (1920-present) in strikeouts per 9.0 innings (10.86) and strikeout-to-walk ratio (5.31) among pitchers who have thrown at least 1,000.0 innings. His career 2.89 ERA, .217 opponent batting average, and 1.03 WHIP all rank second among active pitchers (min. 1,000.0 IP) behind only Kershaw. From 2012-18, he led the American League (min. 500.0 IP) in ERA (2.91), strikeouts (1,678), WHIP (1.02), opponent OPS (.619), and strikeout-to-walk ratio (5.59), and also ranked second in wins (99), quality starts (149), and complete games (15).
Sale joins Max Scherzer as the only pitchers to record at least 200 strikeouts in each of the last six seasons (2013-18), with the left-hander striking out 308 batters in 2017, the second-highest single-season total in Red Sox history (Pedro Martinez—313 in 1999). Sale’s six seasons with at least 200 strikeouts and 50 or fewer walks are the most in major league history. He has made at least 25 starts and thrown at least 150.0 innings in each of the last seven seasons, joining teammate Rick Porcello as the only AL pitchers to accomplish that feat. Sale has recorded a sub-3.50 ERA in each of his nine major league seasons, including a sub-3.00 mark in five of them. He is the only AL pitcher to win 11 or more games in each of the last seven years.
In 38 career appearances (32 starts) at Camden Yards, Yankee Stadium, Rogers Centre, and Tropicana Field, Sale has posted a 1.83 ERA (46 ER/226.1 IP). He has a 1.61 ERA (18 ER/100.2 IP) in 17 career games (14 starts) against the New York Yankees, the lowest mark by any pitcher against the club in the Live Ball Era (min. 75.0 IP). He is the only pitcher in major league history with multiple outings of at least 10 strikeouts and either one or zero hits allowed against the Yankees, having done so on May 22, 2014 with the White Sox and June 30, 2018 with Boston.