Chris Sale represents, if he is traded, the biggest coup of this offseason. The left-hander is considered among baseball's best pitchers, making five straight All-Star appearances for the AL.
The glaring hole in his resume: Sale has never pitched a postseason game.
That's because he has played on a White Sox team that simply hasn't contended since he debuted in 2010. With the Cleveland Indians the favorite to win the AL Central in 2017 and the Kansas City Royals expected to get healthy and contend, Chicago would be wasting another of Sale's prime years if the team held on to him.
As such, Sale represents a giant reset button for a team desperately in need of an infusion of prospects. Bruce Levine of CBSChicago.com reported that talks are ongoing, but the team is "in no hurry" to trade Sale.
Sale has one year remaining on a five-year, $32.5 million deal plus team options for the 2018 and 2019 seasons—an incredible bargain for a pitcher of his caliber.
So, the asking price will be high.
The Boston Red Sox might be the team most willing to pay that price. It should be noted that Sale would obviously be a fit on any team. The Nationals, Rangers and Los Angeles Dodgers are all contending teams with the prospects required to pull off a deal for Sale.
But given that Boston's rotation underperformed all of last season and that the team was swept out of the playoffs, Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski could be willing to pull off the blockbuster.
The trade would almost assuredly require Boston to send outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. and, quite possibly, infielder Yoan Moncada to Chicago. Both could help the White Sox contend for several years.
For the Red Sox, they would be acquiring a pitcher they could ride to a World Series like the Indians did with Corey Kluber this past season.