Chris Sale is one of the most dominating pitchers in baseball today. The 26-year-old became just the third player in MLB history to record 12 strikeouts in five straight games, and has been one of the lone standouts on a last-place Chicago White Sox team.
Which begs the question, could Chris Sale be on the trade market?
Chicago is currently seated in last place of the AL Central, and their hopes of making a push towards to the top are slowly dwindling. The time to decide whether the team will be sellers or buyers is fast approaching, and the best option for the Sox might be trading Sale.
It’s not a decision that won’t be met with much fanfare in the Windy City, but this is a team that is more than just one piece away from competing for a playoff berth. Chicago doesn’t have one position player batting above .300. The White Sox still get inconsistent play from second baseman, Gordon Beckham, and have yet to see outfielders, Adam Eaton and Avisail Garcia live up to their potential. It seems the only piece worth building around is first baseman Jose Abreu.
The White Sox need to add depth to a farm system that ranked 20th in baseball according to Baseball America. The team has promoted top prospect, Carlos Rondon to the majors, and second baseman, Micah Johnson has also seen occasional playing time with the big league club. And aside from Rondon, Chicago doesn’t have that impact, franchise changing, player waiting in the wings.
Sale gives the White Sox a chance to re-stock the club with fresh young talent. He is under team control through the 2019 season, and would likely earn Chicago quite a haul if they were to deal him. The progression of Rondon has given the Sox some leeway in a decision regarding Sale, as they have another potential front line starter waiting to take his place.
Obviously, trading Sale signifies that Chicago is headed into rebuild mode. They aren’t out of the playoff picture, but there just enough talent on its current, or minor league roster to get them past Kansas City in the AL Central.
The White Sox also have the option of dealing Jeff Samardzija but given his performance this season, there might not be as high of a return on him. Which is why Sale is such an intriguing trade candidate, it gives Chicago a shot at bettering the club for the future.
It’s not going to be a popular decision to trade Sale, but it might be best for business.