It seems like the Texas Rangers have been linked to every big-name pitcher in all of MLB in trade rumors over the past few weeks, but now there are multiples reasons to believe the AL powerhouse is after Chicago White Sox ace Chris Sale.
The Dallas Morning News first mentioned the rising possibility, then ESPN hypothetically spoke of the aftermath of such a deal and now a third source states the Rangers’ interest in Sale is growing by the day. Thus, it’s safe to say there’s some credit to this rumor.
So what if the Rangers are able to trade for Sale? For starters, it would likely come in a blockbuster deal that includes White Sox outfielder Alex Rios, to whom the Rangers have been linked in trade rumors for quite some time. The White Sox have reportedly been scouting Texas’ farm system for the past couple of weeks in anticipation of such a deal, so it’s certainly a possibility at this point.
The Rangers have mostly been linked to Chicago Cubs ace Matt Garza, who would undoubtedly be a rental like Cliff Lee was in 2010. However, Sale is an entirely different story: he signed a five-year extension in March that runs through the 2017 season so if dealt, he’ll be in Texas for as long as the Rangers want him. Considering he just played in his second All-Star game earlier this week and he’s a top-five AL pitcher in both major categories (ERA and strikeouts) through the first half of the season, that will likely be a long time if he ends up in Texas.
The big question for the Rangers in this potential deal is Jurickson Profar. The Rangers apparently don’t want to deal their top prospect, but White Sox general manager Rick Hahn reportedly won’t consider making Sale available unless Profar is on the block as well. So basically it boils down to how bad the Rangers want Sale and Rios. One rumor states Profar, fellow prospect Mike Olt and a replaceable Rangers starting position player could be the Rangers’ deal for Sale and Rios, which would be very interesting in the final days before the 2013 MLB trade deadline.
Stay tuned because it’s clear the Rangers are going to make a deal before July 31, but the question is: For who?