The Chicago White Sox have made it clear they have no intention of trading away Chris Sale. However, the events of last week make it seem like there’s a small window of opportunity for interested parties, and the Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers and Texas Rangers are all trying to see if something can be done.
All three teams are in the playoff hunt, although the Rangers are the only ones leading their division right now. They’ve been more active looking for a bullpen arm, but their rotation situation isn’t ideal either. The Dodgers keep losing starting pitchers to injuries, the last one of them being Bud Norris, lasting one out before leaving the game against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Red Sox did acquire a starting pitcher, Drew Pomeranz, but he hasn’t impressed since moving from San Diego to the East Coast.
Will the White Sox give up their ace? Unlikely. Sale is a five-time All-Star, and is having another terrific season, with a 3.17 ERA, 1.029 WHIP and striking out 8.6 batters per 9 innings, while for every walk there are 4.16 strikes. It’s not as good as last season, but the White Sox have been going through plenty of ups and downs, seeing them go from a very promising start to third in the AL Central, and very far away from making any dent on the postseason race.
Last week Sale was suspended by the team for his throwback jersey tantrum: Sale was unhappy with the team going with a set of uncomfortable uniform, suggesting the franchise puts PR and making money over winning. He cut up the jerseys before the game, got into an argument with some people from the front office, and was scratched off the game card and received a suspension.
Sale is on a very good contract. The 27-year old makes $12 million in 2017, before two seasons with team options: $12.5 million in 2018, $13.5 million in 2019. With all the noise from off the field making it seem like he’s unhappy, and with this kind of contract, combined with his ability and age, no wonder teams desperate for some pitching aren’t taking no for an answer.