(Atlanta) The Atlanta Braves have reworked the contract of newcomer Chris Sale, announcing Thursday a two-year pact worth US$38 million to the left-handed pitcher.
The contract, which also includes an $18 million team option for 2026, replaces his previous deal. The latter provided for a salary of 27.5 million this year, including 10 million deferred until 2039.
Essentially, the star pitcher gets an additional $10.5 million guaranteed without having to wait for a deferred payment, in exchange for committing at least two seasons to the Braves, rather than just one.
Sale, 34, will earn $16 million this season and $22 million in 2025. He was acquired from the Boston Red Sox this weekend in exchange for infield prospect Vaughn Grissom.
The Red Sox agreed to send $17 million to the Braves in two equal installments this season, meaning the pitcher’s entire salary is covered for 2024.
The Braves still took a major risk with this new contract due to the numerous injuries Sale suffered. He’s made just 31 starts over the past four seasons, including 20 last year. He was 6-5 with a 4.30 ERA in 102 2/3 innings in 2023.
Sale joins a group that includes star pitchers Spencer Strider and Bryce Elder as well as longtime ace Max Fried and 40-year-old veteran Charlie Morton. Prospects AJ Smith-Shawver and Hurston Waldrep could also be in line for starts.
The Braves recorded 104 victories in 2023 and won the National East Division title for a sixth time in a row. However, they were eliminated by the Philadelphia Phillies during the sectional series.