Sports | August 10, 2022 11:18 am

Broken Wrist and Season Over, Chris Sale’s Robbery of Red Sox Continues

Sale has pitched just 48 ⅓ innings in the majors since his five-year, $145 million contract extension kicked in

Chris Sale makes a rare appearance for the Boston Red Sox.
Chris Sale pitched in just two games this season for Boston.
Mike Ehrmann/Getty

Acquired by the Red Sox in a blockbuster trade that sent third baseman Yoan Moncada, right-hander Michael Kopech and two other minor leaguers to the Chicago White Sox in 2016, Chris Sale amassed a regular-season record of 29-12 during his first two seasons in Boston and had a sub-3.00 ERA through 372 innings.

Though he started to break down and had to miss time towards the end of the 2018 season, Sale was able to pitch in relief when called upon and recorded the final out of the ’18 World Series when the BoSox defeated the Dodgers.

Following their championship season, the Red Sox started handing out money, and a good chunk of it went to Sale, who inked a five-year, $145 million contract extension with Boston in March of 2019. That year, Sale did throw 147 innings for the Sox, but his ERA was a career-worst 4.40 and he limped to a 6-11 record before getting a platelet-rich plasma injection into his sore throwing elbow. That injection was supposed to right the ship, but when his elbow flared up again in the spring of 2020, Dr. James Andrews recommended Tommy John surgery and Sale went under the knife.

The 33-year-old missed all of the shortened 2020 season and the majority of last year (nine starts, 42.2 innings) before breaking a rib while working out on his own in midst of the lockout during the offseason and delaying the start of his ’22 season. The start of Sale’s season took place in the minors, and it was very, very awkward.

When Sale did return to the majors this year, he only made it through 5.2 innings in two starts before he suffered a broken left pinkie finger when he was hit by a line drive against the New York Yankees on July 17. He had surgery the next day and was expected to return to the rotation before the end of the season, but that changed yesterday.

In somewhat of a shocker, the Red Sox announced on Tuesday that their lanky left-hander (6-foot-6 and 180 pounds) broke his right wrist in a bike accident over the weekend and will miss the rest of the season thanks to the latest of what the team termed “an incredibly bizarre run of events.” That means that Sale, who will be 34 by Opening Day of the 2023 season, has made just 11 regular-season starts and three postseason starts for a total of 14 appearances over three years since his extension officially kicked in. Including the postseason, Boston has paid Sale $6.4 million per appearance since 2020, per NBC Sports Boston.

“You couldn’t make this up,” Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom said Tuesday. “It stinks. It’s really unfortunate. We’re relieved this wasn’t worse, obviously. Very glad this wasn’t worse. But it’s been such a run of bad luck for him and obviously for us. We need to dispatch some people to go find whoever has the Chris Sale voodoo doll and recover it.”

Bloom can joke all that he wants, but it is Sale who should be doing the laughing — all the way to the bank.