A lot of teams are hesitant about making big moves until the CBA issues are sorted out. Not the Washington Nationals, who are looking at a number of potential big signings to put themselves in a position to win the World Series, including making a trade with the Chicago White Sox for star pitcher Chris Sale.
Sale has been one of the most popular names to throw in hypothetical trade scenarios since last summer. The White Sox seem to be open to business (but not at any price), and thinking about breaking their team apart in order to start fresh and build from the ground up. The Nationals are in a win now mode, which isn’t surprising considering their resources and talent. Their rotation isn’t bad, including a recent Cy Young winner in Max Scherzer, but another player like Sale could really put them in the NL East and maybe NL in general driver’s seat before the season even starts.
Sale isn’t carrying an intimidating contract. To be honest, it’s not just his ability and consistency that’s so enticing for other teams; it’s the contract that comes along with it. The six-time All-Star isn’t 28 year, and he’s on a very manageable deal which pays him $12 million in 2017. In 2018 there’s a team option worth $12.5 million and $13.5 million in 2019. When you think about Edinson Volquez getting $22 million over two years yesterday, you realize how big of a steal it is to get Sale for this price.
Which is why the White Sox know they can ask for a lot of young talent in return. Luckily for the Nationals, the work of Mike Rizzo and others does put them in a position to make a blockbuster trade. With prospects like Lucas Giolito, Victor Robles, Reynaldo Lopez and Erick Fedde, some with minimal major league experience, the Nationals have the depth to offer the White Sox (or any other team willing to trade away an impact player) the kind of deal that is difficult to refuse. A lot of teams are interested in Sale, but I’m not sure a lot of teams have the young talent like the Nationals do to actually acquire him.