GLENDALE, Ariz. -- With more than $30 million guaranteed and twice that possible, Chris Sale insists a new, large contract will not put pressure on him to over-perform.
"That's the biggest part, trying to stay myself, stay the course," he said Friday after signing the deal with the White Sox. "I don't feel like I need to try to do anything different than I have in the past and I don't think I will.
"(Teammates) are going to keep me in check and staying down the road I need to stay on."
In fact, Jake Peavy guarantees his teammates will make Sale keep things in perspective, noting Sale -- at $850,000 this season before increasing dramatically -- is actually the fourth-highest paid pitcher on the Sox staff this year behind him ($14.5 million), John Danks ($14.25 million) and Gavin Floyd ($9.5 million).
Peavy once signed a three-year, $52-million contract with the Padres, so he knows about overcoming self-imposed pressure.
"Obviously, he is going to be our guy and the ace of this staff, as we call him," Peavy said. "This stuff is so neat. What I love about being here is this is the closest I've ever been to any group of guys.
"We hang out together off the field, we go to dinner together, our families hang out together. When you have that kind of friendship, you're able to take some pressure off each other."
But Sale does admit the recent ongoing behind-the-scene contract talks affected him.
"(With) everything going on in the last couple of weeks, I really haven't been myself," Sale said. "It just kind of took over my mind a little bit. I tried to do everything I could to stay focused and not let it run my life or anything. Definitely a big relief.
"The worst part about this game is the business side, for me anyway. I don't have to worry about the business side of baseball for the next five years. I can just kind of be like a kid again."
In fact, Sale has done a lot of thinking about being that kid, even though he doesn't turn 24 until the end of the month.
"The last couple of weeks I have been thinking about what it was like growing up, where I came from, just a kid from Lakeland, Fla., not really thinking anything too much, going to a smaller college and getting drafted," he said. "You never think about (a huge contract) until it's here and it came and it still blows my mind."
Good start: With heavy rain forecast for Friday, Peavy's scheduled second start against the Padres was moved to a back field at Camelback Ranch.
Peavy pitched four "innings" in a simulated game with Adam Dunn, Tyler Flowers and Dayan Viciedo among those batting.
"It was actually a little bit better than getting out in the game because you were able to be under a controlled environment, not really worry about everything in a game," Peavy said.
So is Peavy where he wants to be at this time of spring?
"I feel good. I feel healthy," he said. "My stuff is coming. It's still not anywhere close to where it should be or is going to be, but it's coming. I'm right on track to where I want to be."
Extra innings: Friday's game against the Padres at Camelback Ranch was rained out after three innings. No statistics count, but the Sox were leading 4-1. ... Left-hander Leyson Septimo, who left Thursday's game with arm problems, won't throw until Monday. "It doesn't seem to be anything real bad," pitching coach Don Cooper said. ... Slowed by an adductor muscle strain, reliever Jesse Crain threw a bullpen session and hopes to be back next week. ... Prospect Andre Rienzo returned to the Sox after Brazil was eliminated from the World Baseball Classic. Rienzo pitched more than four innings in one game.
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