LAS VEGAS — Red Sox lefty Chris Sale is open to discussing an extension with the team, according to Evan Drellich of NBC Sports Boston. Sale is set to hit free agency after the 2019 season.
The only potential roadblock in Boston’s interest in working out an extension with Sale is the health of his left shoulder after a 2018 season in which he missed significant time due to inflammation. While Sale has asked the team to refrain from commenting publicly on his health, Drellich reports that an MRI showed no structural damage and that “a regular offseason is expected to mean 100 percent health for Sale.”
Meeting with the media, Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski declined to discuss if he had made any progress in extension talks with any of his players. He said he preferred to avoid talks during the regular season, setting a soft deadline for potential deals with sale and fellow pending free agent Xander Bogaerts.
Sale’s clean bill of health means the Sox can approach talks without concern that his shoulder will be a long-term problem, eliminating a major potential impediment to a deal. Though it’s not often that star players who are one year away from free agency sign extensions that prevent them from receiving offers on the open market, it appears there’s a chance Sale could be a rare case.