Originally written on Grab Some Bench  |  Last updated 3/6/13
The White Sox and Chris Sale have recently talked contract extension for the 23-year-old lefty.  The question has been asked whether or not it makes sense for the Sox to extend the young ace now, or wait a little bit. The earliest that Sale could become a free agent is 2017, so the Sox have him under team control for the near future.  However, Sale will become arbitration eligible after the 2013 season and at that point will be looking for a pretty healthy raise over his current salary of 600K, that is assuming he has another year similar to last season. Here are both Luke's and my thoughts on the situation ... Editor, Matt Hoeppner's Thoughts Arbitration can get messy, especially when the two sides are drastically apart in numbers.  This will be the last season that Chris Sale will come relatively cheap to the White Sox so it makes sense that they are talking extension.  In a world where the top 5 highest paid pitchers in the game are all making over $20 million per year, locking up a pitcher of Sale’s quality and potential at a young age sounds like a good idea.  He’s only 23, has only pitched 286 career innings and flawlessly stepped into the rotation last year and was the White Sox best pitcher.  There is no reason to assume that he won’t continue to develop and get better. If you can lock him up to a mid-range contract for a few years with maybe a club option for another year that you could get him overall a little cheaper than what it would cost to go to arbitration for several years.  You also avoid the ill-will that often comes out of multiple trips to arbitration.  Sale has to be a major piece of the puzzle for the future, treat him like one. Editor, Luke Stanczyk's Thoughts I do not think that trying to lock-up Chris Sale long term is a wise decision right now. While Sale had a fantastic first season as a starter and looks like he has the talent and mentality of an ace, giving a guy a long-term deal after just one season is too big of a risk to take. I understand the thought process: Rick Hahn and Co. want to lock Sale up now to give themselves a bit of a bargain, as with the more success Sale has, the larger contract he will demand. However, we are talking about a guy who isn't arbitration eligible for the first time until 2014 and is under team control until 2017. Given that, what's the rush? Let him pitch through 2013, and if doesn't tail off or suffer any serious injuries, then work out a contract that allows him to avoid arbitration and allows you to keep him past 2017 when he's free agency eligible. That's a win-win for both sides, and by that time, the Sox will be sure if Sale is that long-term ace. What do you think? Comment below with your thoughts, or tweet them to @GRAB_SOME_BENCH!
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