Chris Sale will opt in to Red Sox contract, remain in Boston two more years

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Sale will opt in to Red Sox contract, remain in Boston two more years originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

In perhaps the least surprising news of the Boston Red Sox offseason, starting pitcher Chris Sale is planning to opt in to his contract.

“He has told us that he is going to opt in,” Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom recently told Alex Speier of The Boston Globe.

Sale was acquired by the Red Sox via trade in 2016 and he signed a five-year, $145 million extension in 2019. He had the ability to opt out of that contract and become an unrestricted free agent this winter.

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The decision to opt in makes a lot of sense for Sale. If the veteran left-hander opted out of the remaining two years and $55 million left on his current deal, there's a chance he might not have found a higher salary on the open market given his injury history.

After missing the 2020 season due to Tommy John surgery, injuries have limited Sale to just 11 starts over the past two years. Sale pitched in just two games during the 2022 season as the Red Sox finished with a 78-84 record at the bottom of the American League East division.

When healthy enough to pitch, Sale has been pretty effective for the Red Sox. He has posted a 40-25 record with a 3.09 ERA, 802 strikeouts and 127 walks over 568 innings since 2017. The problem for Sale is he just can't stay injury-free on a consistent basis.

Healthy or not, Sale figures to be part of the Red Sox roster and payroll over the next two years.