Report: Chris Sale, Red Sox close in on extension

Chris Sale has the highest career strikeout rate among current MLB starters. (AP)

Following a recent trend, the Boston Red Sox are close to a deal to lock up lefty ace Chris Sale before he can become a free agent, according to multiple reports.
The deal is likely to be in the five-year, $150 million range, according to ESPN's Jeff Passan.
Sale, who turns 30 on March 30, is scheduled to make $15 million in 2019, the final season under a team-friendly five-year, $32.5 million deal he signed with the White Sox in 2013 that included two club options.
Red Sox chairman Tom Werner said in February that the team had opened discussions on signing Sale to a long-term deal.
Sale is 103-62 with a 2.89 ERA over nine seasons, making the All-Star team the last seven years running.
Sale was typically dominating in the first half of the 2018 season, going 10-4 with a 2.23 ERA, but he had two stints on the disabled list in the second half and pitched just five innings between July 28 and Sept. 10.
Sale finished the regular season 12-4 with a 2.11 ERA over 158 innings, his lowest innings total since he became a starter with the Chicago White Sox in 2012. He made three starts and two relief appearances in the postseason as the Red Sox went on to win the World Series, posting a 4.11 ERA in 15 1/3 innings, while striking out the side and recording the final out in the deciding Game 5 of the World Series against the Dodgers.