In what was always the easiest decision of Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski’s stupidly busy offseason, the Red Sox are officially picking up the 2019 team option on starter Chris Sale’s contract.
By picking up the option, the Red Sox will pay the 29-year-old $15 million in 2019, which is $1.5 million higher than the original $13.5 million the option came with thanks to Sale finishing second in the race for the 2017 American League Cy Young.
The 6-foot-6 Sale has been a dominant force during his two-year run with the Red Sox, posting a 29-12 record with a 2.56 ERA and 545 strikeouts in 372.1 innings. Derailed by shoulder issues over the final two months of the regular season, Sale went 1-0 during the 2018 MLB Playoffs, throwing 15.1 innings and holding opponents to a .200 batting average. Sale got the ball in the ninth inning of Boston’s title-clinching Game 5 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers, too, and struck out the side.
With the option officially picked up, Dombrowski and the Red Sox will have another year to see how Sale’s shoulder looks at full health before they make a decision whether or not to commit to him on a long-term deal.