With the Chicago White Sox continuing to plummet in the American League Central, Chris Sale's future has become a hot topic of conversation ahead of Monday's trade deadline.
Continue for updates.
Red Sox Linked to Sale
Monday, Aug. 1
Jon Heyman of Today's Knuckleball reported on Sunday that in addition to the Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Dodgers, the Boston Red Sox are interested in Sale. Heyman added that the Red Sox and White Sox have "heavily scouted" each other.
USA Today's Bob Nightengale reported on Monday morning that the Red Sox had "late-night talks" with the White Sox about Sale. Nightengale also noted that the Red Sox are a "likely" destination for Sale.
Heyman later added on Monday that the "scuttlebutt" is that the White Sox are seeking "at least" four players in return from the Red Sox, including three of their best.
Phil Rogers of MLB.com reported that highly touted Red Sox prospect Yoan Moncada is viewed as an "unlikely piece" in the Sale talks. Rogers added that a potential Sale package would include Andrew Benintendi and Eduardo Rodriguez.
Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports relayed a conversation with a source who said "don't waste your time" when asked how strongly Rosenthal should pursue the possibility of a deal. Jayson Stark of ESPN spoke to a source who pegged the chances of a Sale trade at "under 5 percent."
Dodgers Willing to Part with Urias to Land Sale
Monday, Aug. 1
Nightengale reported that the Dodgers remain a "likely destination" for Sale.
While the Dodgers' "sense" was that the White Sox would not trade Sale, L.A. would be willing to deal top prospect Julio Urias, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post on July 25.
Rangers Pursuing Sale
Saturday, July 30
The Rangers have had discussions with the White Sox regarding Sale, according to Rosenthal, who added there is "no traction due to differences in perceived value."
TR Sullivan of MLB.com first reported on July 22 the Rangers were making a "serious effort" to pry Sale away from the White Sox, noting Chicago wants top Rangers prospect Joey Gallo and former top prospect Jurickson Profar in return.
Sale Comments on Trade Rumors
Thursday, July 28
Sale told reporters he wants to remain with the White Sox.
Sale Suspended by White Sox
Sunday, July 24
The White Sox announced that Sale received a five-day suspension along with an undisclosed fine.
"Chris has been suspended for violating team rules, for insubordination and for destroying team equipment," general manager Rick Hahn said in the team release. "While we all appreciate Chris' talent and passion, there is a correct way and an incorrect way to express concerns about team rules and organizational expectations."
Ventura Comments on Sale's Status
Sunday, July 24
Strang added, "Ventura said that he has not spoken with [Sale] since [the] incident. Admits there may be some bridges to mend, but says it's doable." Strang continued, "Ventura alluded to this not being [the] first time Sale has had [an] outburst, part of personality: 'We all know he's emotional.'"
Sale Misses Start After Incident
Saturday, July 23
The White Sox released a statement on a clubhouse incident that prompted Sale to be scratched from his scheduled start against the Detroit Tigers on Saturday:
Rosenthal reported, "Sale asked that they not wear [throwbacks] on his day because they are uncomfortable. Things escalated when they wouldn't relent."
Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports added Sale then cut up the jersey.
Jerry Crasnick of ESPN reported Sale's incident involved front office staff and not any Chicago teammates.
White Sox's Asking Price for Sale Reportedly Revealed
Saturday, July 23
Heyman reported the White Sox are seeking five top prospects in exchange for Sale. According to Heyman, one general manager said "they will get it," when asked about the asking price.
Report: White Sox Rejected Big Offer
Thursday, July 21
Rosenthal, an unnamed team offered the White Sox a "king's ransom" for Sale within the last 48 hours and was given a "no" by Chicago.
White Sox Face Tough Decision with Sale's Elite Talent, Team-Friendly Contract
There are two schools of thought for the White Sox when determining how to handle Sale.
On the one hand, Sale is one of the best pitchers in Major League Baseball and has finished in the top six of American League Cy Young voting each of the last four years. He's signed through 2017 with two team options for 2018 and 2019 totaling $26 million, per Baseball-Reference.com.
That contract allows the White Sox to ask any team interested in Sale for anything and everything they want. It's hard enough to find an ace like Sale, let alone have him signed to such a team-friendly deal, that trading him would be difficult to justify.
On the other hand, the White Sox are a team that has a lot of holes to fill on their MLB roster. Adam Eaton, Melky Cabrera and Jose Abreu are their only regulars with an on-base percentage higher than .324.
Todd Frazier hits a lot of home runs, but you can't really work with a .211 average and .297 on-base percentage. Despite his on-base percentage, Abreu's performance has dropped every year since he was named American League Rookie of the Year in 2014. Meanwhile, Brett Lawrie has proven throughout his career that he's not a starting second baseman.
They inexplicably traded for James Shields, who has pitched better in July but still has a 4.99 ERA in 20 starts this season.
The White Sox do have another No. 1 starter in Jose Quintana, who also has a favorable contract that is guaranteed through 2018 with team options for 2019 and 2020.
At some point, a team has to accept that spending $100-plus million every year to win 75-80 games isn't a smart strategy. The White Sox don't seem to be there yet, but they need to get there soon or things will spiral out of control in a hurry for this franchise.