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Thursday, March 07, 2013

White Sox Extend Chris Sale: 5 years, 35.5 Million Guaranteed

New GM’s Rick Hahn tenure is off to a nice start with this club friendly hometown discount deal.  I’m a little shocked how club friendly this deal is, even with the possibility his elbow explodes.

Sale has signed a five-year, $32.5-million deal.

The deal buys up Sale’s three arbitration seasons and his first year of free agency. It also includes club options that could buy up Sale’s second and third years of free agency.

Sale will earn $850,000 this season, $3.5 million in 2014, $6.0 million in 2015, $9.15 million in 2016 and $12 million in 2017.  The White Sox hold options for 2018 at $12.5 million and for 2019 at $13.5 million. Both club options have $1 million buyouts attached.

madvillain Posted: March 07, 2013 at 03:48 PM | 10 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: chris sale

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   1. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: March 07, 2013 at 11:16 PM (#4383614)
This is pretty standard, I think. Gio Gonzalez, Jaime Garcia, Derek Holland, Clay Buchholz, Jon Lester, and Yovani Gallardo all signed roughly the same deal. Sale gets a little more guaranteed money, but the club gets a second option year.

These sorts of deals for pitchers are no-brainers. A young pitcher should never turn down his first big money contract, which means the club can get a relative bargain.
   2. madvillain Posted: March 08, 2013 at 12:13 AM (#4383670)
These sorts of deals for pitchers are no-brainers. A young pitcher should never turn down his first big money contract, which means the club can get a relative bargain.


It's a good deal for the Sox because Sale is (arguably) better than any of those guys, plus, inflation will help the Sox with the new money coming in. Health wise, I trust Don Cooper and Herm Schneider, if the White Sox brass think Sale is worth the years, then who am I (and other 3rd parties) to say otherwise? Usually the appeal to authority would ring hollow but the Sox' well documented success keeping pitchers healthy is compelling imo. They just seem to "do things right" -- Sale's much panned mid-season move to the pen turned out prudent and instead of doing something dumb like set an arbitrary based-on-nothing-but-gut innings limit like the Nats -- they went by day to day reports from Sale.

Obviously his delivery yada yada yada.

   3. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: March 08, 2013 at 06:54 AM (#4383810)
Health wise, I trust Don Cooper and Herm Schneider, if the White Sox brass think Sale is worth the years, then who am I (and other 3rd parties) to say otherwise?
It's not just about whether he's "worth the years", it's whether the projected discount on those years is worth the guaranteed money for seasons where he may well get hurt. A healthy Sale who maintains his 2012 form could easily command $10M+ as an arb 1, and $5-8M would be reasonably likely with more regression to the mean. The Sox get him for $3.5M because they take on some of the injury risk in later years.
   4. madvillain Posted: March 08, 2013 at 02:34 PM (#4384230)
Matt: If you don't think this is a club friendly deal then what is? We've seen high figures in arbitration for young elite starting pitchers and this give the Sox cost certainty going forward. Pretty much every single Sox fan is happy with this deal.

What is "regression to the mean" anyway for a guy that just pitched a 142 era+ season as a 23 year old? Even if he regresses to a 4 WAR pitcher he'll easily be worth this deal. I'm just not seeing any sort of compelling argument that this isn't a great deal for the Sox.
   5. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: March 08, 2013 at 03:57 PM (#4384340)
If you don't think this is a club friendly deal then what is?
Is that what you think we're talking about? I must have been terribly unclear. Of course this is a club-friendly deal - basically every deal of this sort is club-friendly. That was my point.

What I was saying is that part of what makes it club-friendly is that the club, by buying up some (not all) of the injury risk, can get a great deal on a young pitcher. I was responding to your concern about the injury risk - I was saying, you don't need to cite Gullett and the weird'n'amazing White Sox pitcher health record. Even if the club had the worst record of pitcher health in the majors, the calculations that go into these contracts would still make it a good deal.
   6. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: March 08, 2013 at 04:01 PM (#4384343)
What is "regression to the mean" anyway for a guy that just pitched a 142 era+ season as a 23 year old?
It's regression to the population mean, not the individual mean. It's usually articulated in terms of league average - a rough Marcel projection uses league average as one of its major components.

For Sale, we only have a 200 IP sample. ZiPS, for instance, projects Sale to a 125 ERA+. Steamer says more like 115 or so. That's the impact of regression to the mean.
   7. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: March 08, 2013 at 04:32 PM (#4384375)
What is "regression to the mean" anyway for a guy that just pitched a 142 era+ season as a 23 year old? Even if he regresses to a 4 WAR pitcher he'll easily be worth this deal. I'm just not seeing any sort of compelling argument that this isn't a great deal for the Sox.


It follows, then, that if it's a great deal for the Sox, Sale shouldn't have signed it.
   8. Long Time Listener, First Time Caller Posted: March 08, 2013 at 07:45 PM (#4384619)
It follows, then, that if it's a great deal for the Sox, Sale shouldn't have signed it.

Not necessarily. The Sox get a surplus of value in the deal, for which they give up the ability to cut bait. Sale gets a surplus of security in guaranteed money for which he gives up the ability to maximize his salary over team-controlled years (and 2 FA years if I'm doing the math correctly)
   9. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: March 08, 2013 at 07:56 PM (#4384624)
It follows, then, that if it's a great deal for the Sox, Sale shouldn't have signed it.
It doesn't follow. There's more value to a person in the first million than in the fifth and more value in the fifth than in the thirty-seventh. Sale gets guaranteed set-for-life money, and he doesn't have to worry about whether an injury changes his life again and returns him to the working class. Because Sale wants that set-for-life money, the White Sox can give him what he wants while getting a discount compared to expected $$/win numbers. Everybody gets what they want.

Obviously this only works under the structured free agency system, if Sale could take his services anywhere, he wouldn't sign this deal because he'd be given a better one.
   10. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: March 08, 2013 at 09:00 PM (#4384648)

#9, exactly.

The White Sox have a number of players, so they can afford to take some risk on each player.

Sale only has one pitching arm. He should be much more risk averse, especially in his first long-term contract.

It equates to a situation where the contract can be good for both sides.

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