While ace pitcher Chris Sale decides to take on the Chicago White Sox front office about the Adam LaRoche issue, Boston Red Sox media seem hot to obtain his services.
The LaRoche issue, widely publicized in the media, involves the continuous leakage of information that has been happening about Adam’s son Drake and how the White Sox had requested that his access to the clubhouse be more restricted. Some reports suggest that team vice president Ken Williams may have only wanted to limit the 14-year-old’s time with the team to particular hours of the day, others suggest that particular days would be off-limits. Whatever the case, LaRoche felt that if his son was not welcome every day then retirement was the next best option, to the chagrin of his teammates including Sale.
As that firestorm continues to burn in Chicago, some of the Boston media have decided to fuel some of it themselves. Matt Dolloff of CBS Boston suggested that, from this incident, “Sale may want out of Chicago, and if there is any team that could present the kind of package it would take to bring Sale to Boston, it would be the Red Sox.”
It’s pure speculation at this point that Sale would want out from under the White Sox, but Sale isn’t exactly spreading signs of solidarity with the organization, either. Sale decided to hang two LaRoche jerseys up by his locker, one for his former teammate and one for young Drake, to show everyone that the team has not forgotten either of them. Reports have also mentioned Sale being very angry with Williams publicly, to the point where “Sale reportedly called Williams out in a team meeting on Tuesday and eventually asked the VP to leave, and the problem apparently lies with Williams’ continued dishonesty in his handling of the LaRoche situation, rather than the decisions themselves.”
The Dolloff article goes into detail about other Red Sox media reporting about how the team should kick the White Sox tires to see if Sale comes loose:
The article also adds scenarios to what types of trades could be part of a packaged deal for Sale, which certainly would be a king’s ransom to obtain his services for Boston at this point in the year.
The 6’6″, 180-pounder from Florida is a four-time All-Star in six MLB seasons, all with the White Sox. Sale has been nominated for the Cy Young Award each of those four seasons. He led the American League in strikeouts (274) in 208.2 innings, posting a record of 13-11 and a 3.41 ERA on a bad team that finished second last in the A.L. Central division. Sale’s set to make another $21.15 million in the next two seasons, with team options for another two years between $12.5 and $13.5 million. If there was ever a time for the Red Sox to use assets, both liquid and players, the Boston media have this to be the time.
It’s true that the Red Sox could use Sale, as there is no guarantee that Boston’s starting rotation has been fixed with the addition of ace free agent pitcher David Price. Eduardo Rodriguez is having to start 2016 on the disabled list, requiring more spring training even when the regular season begins. Clay Buchholz and Rick Porcello still seem to be working out their previous issues from last season on the mound. And, while Joe Kelly seems to have picked up where he left off last year, himself along with the young studs like Henry Owens still need to prove that they can be consistent when called upon. Therefore, having Sale brought in would definitely improve Red Sox Nation’s hopes for a good year.
However, it is too early to tell where both Sale and the White Sox are at, in terms of their mindsets. Right now, it seems more like an intense, family squabble, no pun intended. Trust seems very strained in the White Sox clubhouse, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be a fire sale on pitchers in Chicago, again no pun intended. The other four expected starters on the White Sox active roster include John Danks (7-15, 4.71 ERA), Mat Latos (4-10, 4.95 ERA), Carlos Rodon (9-6, 3.75 ERA), and Jose Quintana (9-10, 3.36 ERA). While Latos is the only right-hander out of the five men, it would be very hard to see the White Sox letting go of their ace with these kinds of results, unless Sale just gets so angry that he’s of no use to the team on or off of the field.
The Red Sox may have some money, veterans, prospects, or a combination of all three that the White Sox may deem worthy of giving up Sale, but he will have to continue his protests about LaRoche at a high level before Chicago even listens to anything Boston has to say. Hey, people like a good drama, so stay tuned to The White Sox & The Restless to see if the Boston media are on the right track, here.