MESA, Ariz. -- Pitching wins championships.
A lack of pitching also can cause teams to go out and overpay to fill out their rotation. With the White Sox agreeing to a five-year, $32.5 million extension with Chris Sale on Thursday, buying out three years of arbitration and one year of free agency, their rotation looks in good shape for the next four or five years barring injury.
Sale, John Danks and Jose Quintana all are locked down through 2016.
"It makes us feel good about that. as well as the progress some of our young guys have shown this spring: [Simon] Castro, [Erik] Johnson, (Scott) Snodgress," said White Sox general manager Rick Hahn after the Sale deal was announced. "It makes you feel like we'll have some pitching depth and some options going forward.
"Obviously this past offseason was a pretty robust one in terms of where the compensation was going. So being able to lock something down before there was further escalation in Chris' market had a lot of appeal to us."
Hahn pointed out that there was a fairly defined market for starting pitchers with two-plus years in the Majors. What they signed for provided a starting basis for the White Sox and Sale's camp, with Sale entering this year at two years, 61 days of service time.
"Then it really came down to them trying to grind as much as they could out of us and making the decision if it was efficient for Chris to commit at that time," Hahn said. "We really view it as we ideally do all multi-year deals between us and a player, in that it's something that everyone benefits from potentially."
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.