Chris Sale’s Return Is Coming at a Great Time for the Red Sox

| June 18, 2021 4:25 am PDT

Last year in March, Chris Sale had the infamous Tommy John surgery. The recovery time can last anywhere from 9-15 months.

Sale is expected to return to the lineup sometime in July or even August. Red Sox’s manager, Alex Cora, stated that Sale will only be making starts of 5 or 6 innings upon his return.

This is a great way to reintroduce Sale back into the lineup, so he doesn’t aggravate his elbow.

He has not pitched professionally since 2019, Sale might have some struggles coming back. If he can overcome the obstacles in front of him, the Red Sox are really going to be tough to beat.

Sale’s Statistics

Sale has been one of the best pitchers in baseball since his debut in 2010 with the White Sox.

His 11.08 K/9 and 3.03 ERA career averages are nothing to laugh at. He is a certified ace and once he gets back to full health, the Red Sox will be in good shape.

Sale’s pitcher record sits at 109-73, with 3 seasons recording 17 wins. His record since joining the Red Sox in 2017 is 35-23.

His most memorable moment as a Red Sox player has to be when he struck out the side in the 2018 World Series and clinched the series win.

Sale signed a 5-year extension with the Red Sox worth $145 million. That extension came with the following.

  • Player Opt out after 2022 season
  • Full No-trade Clause 2020-2024
  • $50M deferred at $10M per year from 2035-2039
  • Bonuses for Games Started and Cy Young finishes

This contract has Sale lined up to be in a Red Sox uniform until 2025 when he turns 37 years old.

What Sale’s Return Will Mean for the Red Sox

The Red Sox have been good offensively (103 wRC+, tied for 9th in MLB) and in the bullpen (3.49 ERA, 7th lowest in MLB), but their starting pitching ERA’s aren’t that good (4.47 ERA, 19th in MLB).

Sale’s return couldn’t come at a better time for the Red Sox. They got their ace back at a time that they could be in a division race for first, or in the Wild Card game.

If the Red Sox find themselves losing the division race to the Rays (or the Yankees if they go on a tear), Sale would be able to provide a reliable starter in a one-and-done Wild Card game.

Revisiting the Sale Trade

Sale was traded from the White Sox to the Red Sox for Yoan Moncada, Michael Kopech, Victor Diaz, and Luis Alexander Basabe.

Moncada and Kopech have been great for the White Sox this year. They were the main two prospects that headlined the return for the White Sox former ace.

Victor Diaz has yet to debut and Luis Alexander Basabe is now with the San Francisco Giants.

Both teams got what they wanted out of the trade, so declaring a
winner seems wrong.

The Red Sox got an ace that helped them win a World Series and the White Sox hope that Moncada and Kopech can do the same for them, potentially very soon.

The White Sox find themselves in 1st in the AL Central and have been great in every aspect. Their offense is 2nd best in wRC+ with 113 (HOU is best with 120). Their team ERA is also fourth-best in the league at 3.21.

Sale’s impact this year has yet to be determined, but the trade’s purpose wasn’t just for this year.

Anthony Haage

Anthony is a sports writer for covering the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, and more. He also covers other various topics such as entertainment, general sports betting tips, and more.

His favorite teams are the Chicago Bears, Bulls, Cubs, and Blackhawks. He also will be a temporary fan of any team if it means winning him bets.

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