For the past year, rumors surrounding White Sox ace Chris Sale have been swirling. The 27-year-old lefty hurler dropped off a bit after having a red-hot start to the 2016, but still managed to amass a 17-10 record and a 3.34 ERA while striking out 233 batters. The American League All-Star starting pitcher has had a plethora of issues with Chicago's ownership group, and it appears as if a trade is imminent. Sale apparently wants to go to a contending team, as the White Sox have not been to the playoffs since 2008 and have not won 90 games since 2006.
With one of the most team-friendly deals in all of baseball, the Chicago White Sox can ask for the moon in return for the lefty's services. Chris Sale is young, effective, and simply one of the best pitchers in all of baseball. With Sale slated to be a free agent after the 2018 season, although he does have a no-brainer team option for the 2018-2019 season, the White Sox will look to trade him sooner rather than later if they want to get maximum value on a return.
Reportedly, the Braves, Dodgers, and Nationals, among others, have inquired about Sale's services so far this offseason.
Do you notice a certain Boston-based team that is not on this list?
Thats right. According to all reports, Dave Dombrowski and the Boston Red Sox have not been in contact with the White Sox about a potential deal involving Chris Sale. Additionally, according to Dombrowski, the Red Sox are not actively looking to make any earth-shattering moves this offseason. Rather, the Red Sox are inclined to build from within, acquire a replacement for newly-retired slugger David Ortiz, and improve their ailing bullpen.
The Red Sox may not be actively pursuing blockbuster deals this offseason, but it would not be smart to doubt Dave Dombrowski. He is known to make moves that deplete farm systems and has already laid the groundwork for a potential Chris Sale-To-Boston headline this past season.
During the 2016 Trade Deadline, according to Ken Rosenthal, Bob Nightengale and Jon Morosi, the Red Sox were ramping up their efforts to acquire Sale as the August 1 deadline approached. The proposed deal for Sale did not involve top prospect Yoan Moncada, as there were rumors that the Red Sox were offering Andrew Benintendi, Eduardo Rodriguez, Blake Swihart, and Rafael Devers/Michael Kopech to the White Sox in exchange for Chris Sale, and perhaps even David Robertson.
Well, it appears as if some of these rumors are resurfacing, which is not all that surprising.
According to Jonah Birenbaum of The Score, a Red Sox deal involving Chris Sale would include Benintendi, Devers, and Kopech. The proposed deal is not as lucrative as the in-season deal, but that is to be expected.
While this deal would hurt the Red Sox farm system, a pitcher like Chris Sale is not usually available unless he hits the free agent market. Furthermore, if the Red Sox were to take on a heavy contract, like that of the aforementioned David Robertson, Boston would not have to give up as much.
The Red Sox desperately need an ace at the top of the rotation. David Price has not panned out, and Rick Porcello cannot be relied upon to give you what he accomplished in 2016. Rather than spending $100 million on an elite closer like Aroldis Chapman, the Red Sox can give up some of their elite prospects for the best pitcher in the American League.
No one is saying this deal is a slam dunk or even remotely likely, but it seems to at least be a possibility. Stay tuned.