GLENDALE, Ariz. — A year later Chris Sale has no buyer’s remorse.
When you consider what has transpired over the 54 1/ 2 weeks since Sale signed a contract extension that could pay him $60 million — friends were traded en route to a 99-loss campaign — the White Sox should feel pretty good.
But Sale didn’t hesitate to say he likes the direction of the franchise on Monday shortly after news broke that the White Sox locked up his rotation mate Jose Quintana to a five-year deal. The most recent move combined with all the others made by general manager Rick Hahn since last July, including Jose Abreu’s six-year deal, have Sale believing the White Sox are headed the right direction.
“The work that they’re putting in, anyone can just roll over and give up after a year like that,” Sale said. “It shows that Rick and Kenny (Williams) and Jerry (Reinsdorf), all those guys are committed to winning. They’re not getting discouraged in the least by what happened. They’re being proactive about it, bringing in guys and locking up key guys. Bringing in Abreu, that’s huge. It shows we’re not just sitting on our butts and take it. We’re doing something about it.”
Sale also realizes it’s cost-effective deals like his — he could receive a maximum of $60 million over seven years — and Quintana’s (he could top out at $47.5 million over seven) that give Hahn the flexibility to sign Abreu to a $68-million contract.
He’s willing to forgo potential salary if it gets the White Sox back to being competitive.
“With them being able to do that and have pieces of the puzzle and still a little money in the bank, they can kind of assemble guys around us to do the same things,” Sale said. “That’s huge for us, especially in the direction we’re going in and it does nothing but make our team better.”