Red Sox

Red Sox

Chris Sale used his celebratory press conference Saturday to put in a good word for his buddy.

Speaking to reporters in Fort Myers, Fla., after officially signing a five-year contract extension with the Boston Red Sox reportedly worth $145 million, Sale gave a little nod to fellow starter Rick Porcello, who will become a free agent after the 2019 season:

"We have four starting pitchers here for the foreseeable future -- and we've got a fifth one (Porcello) we’d like to keep around, too."

Sale made that last remark while turning to Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski, who responded, "No question."

Dombrowski keeping Porcello around will be easier said than done, however.

The 30-year-old right-hander is one of eight current Red Sox set to hit free agency this winter, a list that includes slugger J.D. Martinez (opt-out clause) and shortstop Xander Bogaerts.

With outfielder Mookie Betts in line for a megadeal in 2020 free agency, Boston probably can't afford to keep all three of Porcello, Martinez and Bogaerts, with just under $86 million committed to the pitching quartet of Sale, David Price, Eduardo Rodriguez and Nathan Eovaldi in 2020, it may make more sense for the Sox to let Porcello walk and find a low-cost option as a fifth starter.

As Sale would tell you, though, Porcello is a respected member of the Red Sox's locker room and someone his teammates would love to keep around. We'll find out this winter if the head or the heart wins out in Boston's front office.


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