He isn't Clayton Kershaw. No pitcher since post-free agency Greg Maddux has been as consistently good as Kershaw while piling up the innings.

You'd be asking for a cyber-beating to compare any pitcher to Kershaw. But there is a guy who got to the big leagues a little bit later, is younger and has been a reasonable facsimile. He's on the short list of pitchers who are truly must-watch TV, and if he and Kershaw were ever on the trade market at the same time, he'd be the guy in the most demand.

When it was reported Wednesday that the 25-year-old Kershaw had agreed to a record seven-year, $215 million contract, the White Sox might have been the one team in the Majors that felt better than the Dodgers. That's because they control the rights to Chris Sale for, at most, $59 million over seven years, with only $32.5 million guaranteed.

This isn't just a great contract. It's one that you build a team around, and that's exactly what White Sox general manager Rick Hahn is doing.

Hahn put together the contract extension last March, buying out three years of salary arbitration and three of free agency. Sale, who was about to turn 24 and had been signed for $600,000, got financial security for himself and his young family.