Predicting the outcome for every Red Sox option for 2023

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JULY 17: Chris Sale #41 of the Boston Red Sox leaves the field with a dislocated pinky finger after getting hit by a line drive from Aaron Hicks of the New York Yankees in the first inning at Yankee Stadium on July 17, 2022 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JULY 17: Chris Sale #41 of the Boston Red Sox leaves the field with a dislocated pinky finger after getting hit by a line drive from Aaron Hicks of the New York Yankees in the first inning at Yankee Stadium on July 17, 2022 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JULY 17: Chris Sale #41 of the Boston Red Sox leaves the field with a dislocated pinky finger after getting hit by a line drive from Aaron Hicks of the New York Yankees in the first inning at Yankee Stadium on July 17, 2022 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JULY 17: Chris Sale #41 of the Boston Red Sox leaves the field with a dislocated pinky finger after getting hit by a line drive from Aaron Hicks of the New York Yankees in the first inning at Yankee Stadium on July 17, 2022 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

Chris Sale is definitely opting in

Without crunching any numbers, it’s a safe bet that there’s a 99.999999% chance Chris Sale opts into the 2023 season.

After all, he only threw 5 2/3 innings this year in between a rib fracture and a fractured pinky and then a broken wrist while recovering from the pinky.

Since Sale signed his five-year, $145M extension with the Sox ahead of the 2019 season, he’s made 36 starts for a total of 195 2/3 innings and a 4.09 ERA. After making his scheduled start on August 13, 2019, he didn’t pitch in a big-league game again until August 14, 2021. Trying to avoid Tommy John for several months only delayed the inevitable, and he finally went under the knife in April 2020.

In his heyday, Sale was the ultimate competitor. He even had the mark of a true ace: never getting run support. But since returning from Tommy John, he’s made only 11 starts over the last two seasons. He’s going to opt in because no other team is crazy enough to pay him anything close to his current contract. The added security is that it comes with a full no-trade clause through 2024. The Sox are stuck with him.

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