MLB Insider Alex Speier recently revealed that Alex Cora intends to name Chris Sale as the opening day starter for 2024.
Sale has dealt with many, many injuries the past few seasons, but wanting to name a pitcher with a 4.50 ERA as the starter before the season starts just indicates that the Boston Red Sox may not be aiming to contend.
Kenley Jansen, the team's current closer under a two-year, $32 million contract, recently criticized the team for its failure to acquire starting pitchers at the trade deadline. He believes that if the team traded for starting pitchers, they could have made it to the playoffs.
Alex Cora's comments may change, but if they have Sale as the opening day starter, it could signify a commitment to failure. Currently, they have better pitchers in Brayan Bello and Kutter Crawford.
Is Chris Sale even worth keeping as a starting pitcher?
In 2023, Sale has pitched in 19 games, totaling 30 in the last four seasons, which is roughly just one season's worth of games. During this same period, Sale earned a massive $74,907,407.
Chris Sale is currently under contract until the end of next season, during which he will earn $17.5 million. The following season includes a $20 million club option, which they are expected to decline. Starting in 2035 and ending in 2039, they will have to pay him $10 million per year for five seasons, bringing his career earnings to $204,195,275.
The Red Sox's trade for Chris Sale has overall been a bust, although he did help them win the World Series in 2018. He performed well in his first two seasons, but since then, he hasn't been a consistent or healthy player.
It seems that if they do indeed name him the starter, they may be headed towards a rebuilding phase. Rumors of trading Alex Verdugo swirled at the 2023 deadline, suggesting that the team may now be reluctant to spend money on trying to make a postseason run. You can't blame the Red Sox for not wanting to compete now, especially when they are in one of the toughest divisions in all of MLB.