At 37-55, the White Sox are currently 14 games back of the Tigers in the AL Central and 15.5 games back of a Wild Card spot. They are one of the very worst teams in baseball this year, so it was no surprise when Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reported the team was "open for business" last month. They're selling. That "open for business" sign comes with a disclaimer though. Everyone is available except captain Paul Konerko and the team's best player, ace left-hander Chris Sale. Considering the 24-year-old has a 2.97 ERA with a 4.14 K/BB in 312 innings since moving to the rotation last year and is signed affordably though 2017 ($30.65 million with club options for 2018 and 2019), it's easy to understand why they'd want to hold onto him. There is a case to be made that the White Sox should make Sale available in a trade, however, a case I'm going to try to make. It's easier said than done whenever you're talking about a player of this caliber, of course. I'll give it a try anyway. Speeding Up The Rebuild Coming into the season, ESPN's Keith Law (Insider required) and Baseball America ranked the ChiSox's farm system as the 28th and 29th best in baseball, respectively. The team doesn't have much young talent at the moment, which is a problem considering the state of the Major League team. Trading Sale would add some serious impact young players to the organization. GM Rick Hahn wouldn't be out of line if he asked the Rangers for package headlined by Jurickson Profar, for example. He could ask the Red Sox about Xander Bogaerts and the Cardinals about Oscar Taveras, and that's just the headliner. A pitcher of Sale's caliber with that contract should bring back an elite prospect and a few other pieces to move the rebuilding process faster than expected. Injury Risk Pitchers have a tendency to get hurt; it comes with the territory. Sale's funky, side-winding delivery doesn't seem like it's built for a long haul, similar to how Tim Lincecum's tornado wind-up spawned questions about his long-term durability. To Sale's credit, he's held up just fine under a big league workload and proven the detractors wrong.
The case for trading Chris Sale
CBS Sports | Jul 18