Sale signing a risky but necessary move

PHOENIX -- Chris Sale learned to grill meat over the winter. Now he can open his own restaurant if he wants.

The Chicago White Sox handed Sale a contract extension Thursday that can be worth $57.5 million over the next seven seasons. It includes $32.5 million in guaranteed money, which shows that the organization does not agree with the analysts who consider him a breakdown risk because of his thin frame and his violent delivery.

This is a huge risk for the Sox, but a necessary evil because it replaces three free-agent years with club-option years (2017-19). Sale is a homegrown ace and with Jake Peavy and John Danks, the Sox have seen how much you have to pay to acquire and keep the proven starting pitchers needed to win.

You can argue that the Sox should've waited a couple more years before committing to Sale, as he’s under control for four years. But arbitration is only a year away and this deal never gives him as much annually as Danks will earn each of the next four years, let alone Peavy money.

Sale, like predecessor Mark Buehrle, is the real deal. He’s the guy you want to build a staff around and general manager Rick Hahn won’t be pressed for time to put together a team that is worthy of him.

progers@tribune.com

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