What do you think of when you hear the name Chris Sale? Do you think of the Cy Young Caliber pitcher? Or do you think of the weird, brutal, and disappointing 2019 season?
Luckily, Sale got Tommy John this season, where we won't have a very long season, but the question we want to` know is, what will Chris Sale look like in 2021 and 2022? It's not very likely he will look like he did in 2018 and 2019, but we just don't want him to look like he did in 2019 in years to come. If he is able to have at least an average year in 2021 and 2022, it will be somewhat worth it to pay him $29M a year, because he definitely didn't deserve $29M in 2019. Now him being extended to 5 yrs $145M wasn't exactly Dombrowski's fault, because ownership wanted him extended, but it definitely wasn't the best choice to sign him considering him having his worst career W-L, ERA, and FIP and just about everything else.
Coming back from Tommy John is different for a lot of pitchers, some come back good but others never see light in the future. If in fact he does come back well, he does he has a chance at the hall of fame. Other then 2019, he's never had an ERA above 3.41, although he's never won a Cy Young he's come at least top 5 every year from 2013 and 2018 in the AL Cy Young voting, coming 2nd in 2018. Sale actually did not have that bad of a WHIP in 2019, which was 1.086, not his career worst, he just gave up a bunch of long balls having a career worst in HR/9 at 1.5. To be honest. 2019 wasn't a great season, but it wasn't as bad as people think it was. He had a 109 ERA+ which was his career low, but 100 is league average, so that means although he had a 6-11 W-L, he was still above league average in ERA. The weird thing is, Rick Porcello who had an abismal 2019 ERA at 5.52, he still managed to put up an above .500 record at 14-12. Which proves that W-L is a useless stat.
If Sale can have a decent next couple of years with an ERA preferably in the threes, but at least in the fours, he has a shot at the Hall Of Fame. I'm not saying he should get in if in fact he does have a decent rest of his career, but he will have a shot. The truth is, who knows whether he will come back strong or show that he is washed. It also is not out of the question that the Red Sox would trade him away if he does prove he is washed. The problem is with that is the ginormous contract he has. Which would eliminate the majority if not all of the teams interest. Some team may want Sale maybe in the last year of his contract at the deadline because he would be considered a veteran at that point.
In conclusion, we need to find out how Chris Sale will come back before we decide the future of Sale. Me personally, I don't think he will have a good comeback, but it won't be too bad to the point where he is a forgotten pitcher by 2022 and 2023.