Chicago White Sox Rumors: 5 Potential Landing Spots For Ace Chris Sale
Five Potential Landing Spots For Chris Sale
The Chicago White Sox have a luxury that most teams do not have: a legitimate left-handed ace. Over the course of his four-year career, he is 32-25 with a 2.97 ERA. Since becoming a full-time starter in 2012, he has gone 17-8 with a 3.05 ERA and 11-14 with a 3.07 ERA this past season. His strikeout-to-walk ratios of 192-to-51 and 226-to-46 during the past two seasons are indicative of his confidence on the mound, as he is seemingly unafraid to pitch to anyone.
His jerky, nontraditional windup and delivery have baffled hitters. During the course of his career, he has pitched 500.2 innings, and only allowed 418 hits, while striking out 529. That, right there, is the epitome of dominance. One more thing: his career WHIP is 1.103. That’s just absurd.
Before the 2013 season, Sale agreed to a four-year contract worth $32.5 million, with club options in 2018 and 2019. This was a relatively cheap price for the White Sox, who guarenteed themselves an effective ace for four more years.
So, why on Earth is Sale’s name being thrown around in trade talks? Do the White Sox actually plan on trading the 24-year-old ace away? Clearly in the rebuilding process, Chicago might explore options in trading their lanky lefty, but who they get in return will be very substantial and fit into their long-term plans.
Although I don’t see Sale moving (if I were the GM of the White Sox, he would be the only one off-limit player when it comes to potential trades), these are some potential teams who might be able to make a convincing-enough offer to steal him from Chicago.
Boston Red Sox
While Xander Bogaerts is most likely off limits, the Boston Red Sox have top prospect Anthony Ranaudo almost ready for his Major League debut and can replace the disappointing Will Middlebrooks with either a free agent or prospect. They would probably have to throw in a couple more prospects to make this a done deal, but it would certainly be worth it.
Baltimore Orioles top prospects Dylan Bundy, a pitcher, and Jonathan Schoop, an infielder, might be available if the White Sox inquire. The Orioles have some quality pitchers, but lack an ace, and Sale would be a perfect fit in Baltimore.
Any combination of prospects Javier Baez, Albert Almora and Jorge Soler might be able to lure the Chicago neighbor into giving up Sale. My guess: it would cost the Chicago Cubs all three of them, and I’m sure Theo Epstein wouldn’t go through with that.
The Pittsburgh Pirates might be willing to part ways with top prospects Jameson Taillon and Gregory Polanco in hopes of gaining the left-handed ace to complement Gerrit Cole in the coming years. While Taillon is promising, Sale is proven.
Tampa Bay Rays
An option that makes sense is a straight-up trade with the Tampa Bay Rays dealing their ace, David Price, for Sale. The White Sox might be hesitant, however, since Price is in the last year of his current contract.