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Five questions about Chris Sale's extension



The Friday season may have been sluggish once again, but the extension season is smoking hot. With ESPN's Jeff Passan reporting that the Boston Red Sox has agreed a five-year extension with ace lefty Chris Sale – worth somewhere near $ 145 million – yet another established star has decided to abandon the opportunity for future free agent wealth.

According to the extension tracker at MLB Trade Rumors, 20 players have now agreed extensions since last season. Let's break them into groups:

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"As Good We Have Seen Enough" Group: Eloy Jimenez, White Sox; Brandon Lowe, Rays. Both are rookies – Jimenez has not yet made his big league debut – but both have impressed their organizations so much that they have bought the whole of every player's controllable year. For the players, it gets them money faster and allows them to refrain from the relative uncertainty of arbitration in favor of income security. Both offers allegedly contain a few hold options years beyond the six-year extension of the extension.

"You need no smelly arbitration" group: Jorge Polanco, Twins; Jose Martinez, Cardinals; Miles Mikolas, Cardinals; Jose Leclerc, Rangers; Alex Bregman, Astros; Blake Snell, Rays; Whit Merrifield, Royals; Max Kepler, Gemini; Luis Severino, Yankees; Aaron Nola, Phillies; Raisel Iglesias, Reds. These players have performed so well in their pre-trial seasons that their clubs decided to commit to them through their arbitration year and, in most cases, beyond. (Martinez case is a little different.)

The "free agency, what is it good for?" Group: Aaron Hicks, Yankees; Nolan Arenado, Rockies. Instead of taking their first crack on the free agency after the 2019 season, Hicks and Arenado signed with their current organizations for seven seasons.

"If it is not the ink, do not correct it" group: Paul Goldschmidt, cardinals; Mike trout, angels; Carlos Carrasco, Indians; Chris Sale, Red Sox. A quartet star player comes out of early career expansions, all of which decided the grass is not necessarily greener on the other side of Free Agency Street. Of course, Goldschmidt made his commitment to the cardinals before he made his regular season debut for the club.

The future free agent lists lose shine quickly. Based on the reviews I've made for my position tierserie, nine of the top 30 baseball players have signed extensions since last season last year – five of them this week alone.

(Note: These lists do not include the extension of an extension Clayton Kershaw agreed with Dodgers after the season. Kershaw would make it 10 of the top 30.)

In this context, there are five issues that come to mind about Boston's commitment to sales.


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