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White Sox and Chris Sale agree to terms


GLENDALE, Ariz. - The Chicago White Sox have agreed to terms on a five-year, $32.5-million contract with left-handed pitcher Chris Sale, which includes club options for the 2018 and 2019 seasons.

Under terms of the contract, Sale, who turns 24 on March 30, will receive $850,000 in 2013, $3.5 million in 2014, $6.0 million in 2015, $9.15 million in 2016 and $12 million in 2017.  The White Sox hold options for 2018 at $12.5 million and for 2019 at $13.5 million.  If either option is declined, Sale will receive a $1.0-million buyout.

Sale went 17-8 with a 3.05 ERA (65 ER/192.0 IP) and 192 strikeouts in 2012, his first professional season as a starting pitcher, was selected to his first American League All-Star Team and finished sixth in Cy Young Award voting.

His 192 strikeouts were the most by a White Sox left-hander since Floyd Bannister fanned 198 in 1985, and his 17 victories were the most by a Sox lefty since Mark Buehrle won 19 in 2002.

"We are thrilled to be able to reward Chris for his accomplishments thus far in his career and to keep one of the best young starters in the league in a White Sox uniform for potentially the next seven years," said Rick Hahn, White Sox senior vice president/general manager.

The 6-foot-6, 180-pounder ranked among the AL leaders last season in numerous categories, including ERA (4th), strikeouts per 9.0 IP (4th, 9.0), wins (T4th), winning percentage (T5th, .680), opponents average (6th, .235), opponents on-base percentage (6th, .291), strikeout-to-walk ratio (8th, 3.76) and strikeouts (9th).

Sale recorded 11 or more strikeouts four times in 2012, joining Ed Walsh (four in 1910) and Javier Vazquez (four in 2006) as the only pitchers in White Sox history to accomplish the feat.  He became the fifth White Sox pitcher to strike out 13-plus batters twice in one season (15 on May 28 at Tampa Bay and 13 on August 22 vs. New York-AL).

In two-plus seasons with Chicago, Sale has gone 21-11 with a 2.89 ERA (92 ER/286.1 IP) and 303 strikeouts in 109 games (29 starts), holding opponents to a .223 (234-1,048) average.

Sale was selected by the White Sox in the first round (13th overall) in 2010 and was the only member of that draft class to play in the major leagues that season.  He had been on pace to be arbitration eligible for the first time following the 2013 season and a free agent following the 2016 season.

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