Boston Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale will undergo Tommy John surgery, the team announced today. This will cost Sale the entire 2020 season (whatever season there may be).
Sale, who turns 31 this month, was one of the top starting pitchers in baseball from 2012-18. A first round pick of the Chicago White Sox, Sale was thought by many early on to be destined for the bullpen due to his slight build and his delivery. After working out of the pen his first two major league seasons, he moved to the rotation in 2012 and dominated,at least until 2019.
The Red Sox, who acquired Sale in a deal headlined by Yoan Moncada and Michael Kopech after the 2017 season, signed the lefty to a 5 year, $145 million extension with a vesting option last year, keeping him off this past offseason’s free agent market. Sale struggled early in the year, then was strong in the middle of 2019 before struggling and then being shut down with elbow problems late in 2019.
Sale had platelet-rich injections in the elbow last August, but was slowed this spring by pneumonia followed by elbow issues. Sale will likely not be ready to return until after the 2021 season begins.