When Chris Sale started to slide in the first round of the draft because of signability, it was a surprise that the thrifty White Sox were the team that selected him. Now comes a bigger surprise: the first- or second-rated college pitcher on most draft boards has agreed to terms for a bonus equal to MLB’s bonus recommendation for his No. 13 slot a year ago: $1.656 million.
Sale will take a physical on Monday and likely will sign his deal on Tuesday. He’s the highest-drafted player to agree to terms so far this summer. … While 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, 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.
More Chris Sale coverage here: reports from Kevin Goldstein, Jim Callis, John Sickels.
As for the perceived discount the Sox might have received by agreeing to terms less than two weeks after the draft, Sale has a chance to more than make up any difference with a major league promotion that would start his service time clock.
In addition, that also would include a placement on the 40-man roster with a chance to make the major league team out of spring training in 2011.