Red Sox Check in on Chris Sale

Jul 12, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; American League pitcher Chris Sale (49) of the Chicago White Sox throws a pitch in the first inning in the 2016 MLB All Star Game at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 12, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; American League pitcher Chris Sale (49) of the Chicago White Sox throws a pitch in the first inning in the 2016 MLB All Star Game at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

The White Sox are listening on offers for Chris Sale. Could the Red Sox pull off a blockbuster?

The market may have just been given a giant shot in the arm as the trade deadline rapidly approaches. The Chicago White Sox have let it be known around the league that they are willing to become sellers this season. Not only that, but they are willing to listen to offers on their team’s biggest asset, ace lefty, Chris Sale.

Sale’s availability completely changes the landscape of this season’s trade market. What was once a barren landscape, filled only by the likes of under-performing pitchers and questionable rentals, suddenly has a shining oasis right in the middle of it. That oasis is one of the best young pitchers in the league whom every team in baseball would be interested in acquiring.

However, not every team in baseball has what it would take to pull the pitcher out of Chicago. In fact, there are only a very few teams who do. The two teams that have the best chance to pull off such a trade are the Red Sox and the Rangers, both of which have already reportedly checked in on what Chicago would want for Sale.

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Is a trade likely to happen? Probably not. Chicago is not going to give up their star player for anything short of a massive haul in return. Yet Red Sox Nation must not forget who is running their team these days. This is the type of thing Dave Dombrowski gets his reputation from. He has never shied away from making a blockbuster trade. This is the man who traded for Miguel Cabrera after all.

There is of course, one big question. What would the Red Sox have to give up to get such a prize. On the season, Sale has a record of 14-3 with a 3.18 ERA. It would be difficult enough to get him if this was simply a great season for him. The problem is that to Sale, this season is simply the norm for him. In his career, he has a record of 71-43 and an outstanding 2.95 ERA. Not only that, but he is signed to a team-friendly contract through the 2019 season.

To acquire such a pitcher, any deal that Dombrowski makes would have to begin with Benintendi or Moncada. A major league pitcher with upside, like Eduardo Rodriguez, would most likely have to be included as well. A large chunk of the farm system’s best prospects would have to be sent to Chicago. The point is that if the Red Sox really want to deal for Sale, they will have to give away a sizable amount of their possible future stars.

Jon Heyman reported that Chicago is seeking 5 top prospects for Sale. Would the Red Sox be willing to give that up? Boston currently still has a top farm system, but a deal like that would likely wipe out the best of it. Would Dombrowski be able to keep Moncada and deal from those below him in the system? It’s possible, but the effect on the farm would still be substantial. A pitcher like Chris Sale might very well be worth it however.

If the Red Sox were actually able to make a deal for Chris Sale, Boston’s rotation would suddenly become one to be feared. A starting rotation of Chris Sale, David Price, Steven Wright, Rick Porcello, and Drew Pomeranz would not only be the best in the AL East, but it might just be the best in the entire American League. Not for just this season either. The Red Sox would have a top rotation with all of its pitchers signed for several years to come. There is not much more you could ask for.

Not only would a deal like this drastically help the rotation, but it would also keep Sale away from any of Boston’s competition. If Sale were to go to the Rangers for example, it would be bad news if Boston then had to face Texas in the playoffs. If Dave Dombrowski and John Henry truly want to send David Ortiz out with another ring on his finger, the best way to do that is to do anything it takes to make Chris Sale pitching for Boston a reality.

Once again, is a blockbuster trade very likely to happen? No. A trade like that rarely does. What is so big about this news though, is that there have been rumors of Chris Sale being available for years now, but nothing ever came of it. For years, the White Sox have refused to start a rebuild and taken all measures to avoid it. This season however, for the first time, there appears to be a real chance that Chicago would make the trade for the right offer.

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Chris Sale is finally available, and the Red Sox have made the first call. Were they given a price that was just too great, or are they working on a deal at this very moment? All we can do is sit back and wait to find out.