The White Sox didn't make much noise on the free-agent market this winter -- their biggest signing coming in the form of new third baseman Jeff Keppinger -- but the club seemed content with mostly standing pat and letting everyone else have at the open market.
However, as teams have continued the trend of locking down their young stars on long-term deals, the South Siders have decided to emerge from their winter hibernation and make their own run at extension talks. To start off, Chicago has opened contract discussions with young left-hander Chris Sale, reports Dan Hayes of CSN Chicago:
White Sox pitcher Chris Sale confirmed Tuesday his representatives have had discussions with the club about a contract extension...
"We’ve been kind of back and forth but nothing too crazy right now," Sale said Tuesday when asked about extension talks. White Sox general manager Rick Hahn declined to comment.
Sale, soon to be 24, will qualify for arbitration at the end of 2013 if he stays in big leagues all year, which seems to be a certainty at this point. The southpaw will earn $600,000 this coming year and could be in line for a major pay raise in his first go at arbitration if he can put together another solid season in the ChiSox rotation.
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Though Sale hadn't thrown more than 71 innings in a professional season prior to 2012, Chicago decided to move him into the rotation full-time and see what happened. His move to the rotation was nothing short of a resounding success, as the left-hander posted a 3.05 ERA and 9.0 K/9 rate in 192 innings over 29 starts.
It's unknown at the moment whether the club is working on any sort of deadline in terms of their talks with Sale.