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Red Sox exercise options on Chris Sale, Craig Kimbrel

The Red Sox made two easy calls, picking up 2018 club options on Chris Sale and Craig Kimbrel.

MLB: ALDS-Houston Astros at Boston Red Sox Photo by Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The Red Sox have exercised club options for 2018 on left-handed starter Chris Sale and right-handed reliever Craig Kimbrel, per a club announcement on Thursday morning.

Picking up both options was a slam dunk for Boston, as both pitchers were All-Stars and among the best in baseball in 2017. Sale, 28, is likely to finish among the top 3 in AL Cy Young voting after posting a 2.90 ERA and 0.97 WHIP with 308 strikeouts (a total that led the majors) and 43 walks in an MLB-best 214.1 innings this season. The six-time All-Star will earn $12.5 million next season and has another club option worth $15 million for 2019, though that salary will increase if he wins a Cy Young award this winter or after next season.

In his second season with the Red Sox, the 29-year-old Kimbrel bounced back to the dominant form he exhibited with the Braves from 2010-14, posting a 1.43 ERA and 0.68 WHIP with 126 strikeouts and 14 walks over 69 innings. His 35 saves ranked third in the American League. Kimbrel will earn $13 million next season.