FORT MYERS, Fla. - The Chicago White Sox and first-round draft pick Chris Sale agreed to terms Monday on a contract that calls for a $1.656 million signing bonus.
“No one gets better working out a deal," Sale said. "I'm a baseball player and that's what I like to do, so the sooner we got a deal done the better. I couldn't wait to sign and I can't wait to pitch.”
Sale, who was selected No. 13 overall in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft, became the highest-drafted player to agree to terms so far. His bonus is in line with MLB's bonus recommendation for the No. 13 slot.
The 21-year-old produced amazing numbers in 2010, including finishing his junior season with an 11-0 record, two saves and a 2.01 ERA in 17 appearances. He also racked up 146 strikeouts with just 14 walks for a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 10.4-to-1 for the year.
Sale had been expected to receive a much larger bonus than $1.656m, with some even throwing Jered Weaver money around from when he signed with the Angels in 2004 ($4m bonus).
Baseball America believes that even though Sale will get less money than anticipated, the White Sox will give him every opportunity to crash their big league bullpen, perhaps as early as August. He'll initially report to high Class A Winston-Salem, with an anticipated promotion to Triple-A Charlotte in mid-July. After spending this summer as a reliever, BA believes he'll work in the Arizona Fall League as a starter and get the opportunity to make Chicago's rotation in spring training next year.