White Sox manager Robin Ventura doesn’t want Chris Sale to pitch in the All-Star Game

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White Sox starter Chris Sale pitched into the eighth inning, allowing one run on six hits and a walk while striking out 10 batters in his most recent start on Saturday against the Cubs. He is a candidate to start for the American League in the All-Star Game at Great American Ball Park on Tuesday.

If manager Robin Ventura had his way, Sale wouldn’t pitch at all. Via Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune:

“I think yesterday he was amped up,” Ventura said. “Just philosophy-wise, pitch count and everything in this environment, he was exerting everything he had. It would be nice (for him to rest), definitely.

“He is (our only representative). But I also want him to pitch for us for the rest of the year too.”

Sale heads into the All-Star break with a 2.72 ERA, leading the league with 157 strikeouts compared to only 23 walks in 119 1/3 innings. One can understand Ventura’s reluctance to have Sale throw any more than he needs to, but the baseball world at large would be deprived of awesome pitching were the lefty to rest on Tuesday instead.

Indians trade Corey Kluber to the Texas Rangers

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The Cleveland Indians have traded two-time Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber to the Texas Rangers. In exchange, Texas is sending center fielder Delino DeShields and pitcher Emmanuel Clase to the Indians. There are reports that the Indians will be getting more than just those two players, but no word yet. The deal is pending physical.

Kluber made only seven starts this past year thanks to a broken arm and a strained oblique muscle. When he did pitch he was no great shakes, posting a 5.80 ERA and 44 hits in 35.2 innings. Those were freak injuries that do not suggest long-term problems, however, so there’s a good reason to think he’ll bounce back to useful form, even if it’s a tough ask for him to return to the form that won him the 2014 and 2017 Cy Young Award.

Before his injury-wracked 2019 campaign, Kluber pitched over 200 innings in each of his previous five seasons so mileage could be an issue. For his career he’s 98-58 with a 3.16 ERA (134 ERA+), a 2.99 FIP, and a K/BB ratio of 1,461/292 over 1,341.2 innings in nine big league seasons.

Unless there is cash coming from Cleveland in the deal, the Rangers will be paying him $17.5 million this year and a 2021 option of $14 million pursuant to the five-year, $38.5 million contract he inked with Cleveland before the 2015 season.

DeShields, 27, is a career .246/.326/.342 hitter (76 OPS+) and that’s about how he performed in 2019 as well. He was demoted to Triple-A Nashville in May. Clase, who will turn 22 before next season, pitched 21 games, all but one in relief, for the Rangers in 2019 and will still be considered a rookie in 2020. He has been used mostly as a reliever in the minors as well.

Pending what else the Tribe is going to be getting, this appears to be a light return for a pitcher who, despite his 2019 injuries, should be expected to come back and be a workhorse. Unless there is some real talent coming back, in addition to DeShields and Clase, it would seem to be a salary dump for Cleveland and a steal for Texas. It is likewise perplexing how any of the many, many teams who could use starting pitching — the Angels and the Mets, among others, come to mind — could not top the package Texas offered.