Extension-Fest ’19 Continues as Red Sox Reportedly Nearing Deal with Chris Sale
As Alex Speier of the Boston Globe was first to report Friday, the Red Sox and Chris Sale are closing in on an extension that “will keep the star left-hander in Boston for years to come.” A subsequent tweet from ESPN’s Jeff Passan puts the deal at five years and $150 million or so. Not bad.
Chris Sale’s deal, if completed, is likely to be in the five-year, $150 million range, league sources tell ESPN.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 22, 2019
This extension news is just the latest in a slew of moves that includes Nolan Arenado (8/$260M), Mike Trout (12/$430M), Paul Goldschmidt (5/$130M), Alex Bregman (6/$100), Blake Snell (5/$50M), and Eloy Jimenez (6/$43M). And now that the Astros have Bregman secured, they’re talking about new deals for Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole.
There’s very little in common with the extensions themselves, as the years and money are all over the map. Some of the players have tons of experience under their respective belts, one has yet to take a major league at-bat. But one thing that seems to be true across the board, particularly for Arenado, Goldschmidt, and Sale, is that the current state of free agency holds too much uncertainty.
Sure, the top players are still earning top dollar, but you have to consider the time value of money, further uncertainty of the next CBA, and the ability to stay in a place you like. Goldschmidt is a pretty low-key dude, some might even say boring, so he immediately felt a connection to St. Louis and wanted to stick around. Arenado’s had the benefit of that Rocky Mountain air and saw no reason to test his ability with less-friendly home splits. And so on.
Yet the whole time this is going on across the league, the Cubs seem content to let things play out with their young players. Kris Bryant has said that, while he prefers to remain in Chicago and would “absolutely” listen to extension offers, the Cubs have not made one to him or any of his teammates. If nothing else, I guess we can’t accuse the team of hypocrisy in terms of their “no more money” talk.
And who knows, maybe things are happening behind the scenes. Several of the deals mentioned above seemingly came out of nowhere, without the slightest rumblings about talks taking place. The Cubs have also maintained that they don’t like to have contract talks during the season, which is technically underway already
If they are indeed serious about spending on their own players rather than huge free agents, something Tom Ricketts has reiterated frequently, you’d have to think something is in the works. Maybe they’re just waiting for next season when some contracts fall off the books. Or maybe it’s a matter of Marquee Network, not to mention Sinclair Broadcasting’s other big plays, coming to fruition.
As objective as I’ve grown over the years of “covering” the Cubs, this season’s money talk has almost served to turn me back into a big ol’ meatball. Seriously, I just want to scream at them to extend Bryant and Javy Báez yesterday. Kyle Hendricks could use a new deal as well. And Anthony Rizzo, Kyle Schwarber, Willson Contreras. Despite crying poor, I do have to imagine there are plans to follow through on some of those talks, so now it’s just a matter of waiting.