Blogger at NBC Sport.com's HardballTalk. Recovering litigator. Rake. Scoundrel. Notorious Man-About-Town.
So much for those Boston and Los Angeles rumors: Jayson Stark of ESPN reports that the chances of Chris Sale getting traded before the 4pm EDT deadline are “under five percent.”
It would take a huge package to get Sale, one of baseball’s best starters. This is especially true given that he is under team control through 2019 at a reasonable-for-an-ace price. Just spitballing, it would seem that the White Sox would demand a package that begins with top Boston prospect Yoan Moncada, and most folks who follow Boston seem to think he’s untouchable. Add in the fact that the Red Sox would likely have to add in more and you can begin to see why Stark’s sources are so pessimistic.
Jon Morosi of Fox and MLB Network report that the Tigers have shown some interest in Phillies starter Jeremy Hellickson.
Hellickson is not the sexist trade target on the planet but he’s one of the more attractive options in a thin pitching market. The Orioles, Blue Jays and Giants have been linked to him at times as well. What he gives you is, hopefully, a continued nice season in his walk year. So far on the season he’s posting a 3.70 ERA and 109/29 K/BB ratio in 131 and a third innings. That’s far better than his track record of the past few seasons, but since he’s a free agent this fall it’s not like there’s a huge risk.
USA Today’s Bob Nightengale tweets that the Red Sox had “late-night talks” with the White Sox regarding a Chris Sale trade.
We’ve been speculating about a Sale trade for some time, with the Dodgers most often mentioned as the top destination. The Red Sox, however, have a ton of prospects from which to deal, however, and putting Sale in the Boston rotation next to David Price would certainly bolster the Red Sox’ chances this year. And next year. And two years after that given how long Sale is under contract.
Which is to say: if the Red Sox or anyone else wants to pry Sale away from Chicago, it’ll take a pretty big haul.