Maybe it will become a permanent fixture until the White Sox stop being dreadful, but Chris Sale trade rumors emerged again Monday, because Jerry Reinsdorf simply refuses to use his political clout to end the rumors by making it a violation of Illinois law for Chris Sale to be traded. Perhaps he knows it pointless to do such, because none of us would believe he could be restrained by Illinois law.
There’s an ace in his prime, and there’s a miserable team, but trade speculation always leaves making things fair for the team getting rid of the superstar its last priority, probably because it’s the greatest and least fun challenge.
To reiterate my lack of faith in the idea that trading Sale is an easy net gain for the Sox, here’s the ground we covered last month:
“Every player should have a price for which they can be moved, but this is certainly talent to get persnickety about. Aces are special: neither shilling out dollars for players who have reached free agency or selecting at the top of the draft are trusty ways to acquire them, and flipping Sale for a bounty of prospects puts the burden on the White Sox development staff to raise them up to something more valuable than six years of a No. 1 starter producing at well, well under market value. That’s a challenge for any team, let alone a franchise with the offensive [development] struggles of this one.”
“Overwhelming” is the term being thrown about regarding the package the White Sox would need to see, and it’s apt. They don’t need to trade Sale. A team of their resources and simple impatience shouldn’t be sitting out the next three years, let alone the bulk of his contract, so any trade partner should be willing to unquestionably overpay in value for the immediate benefit of having Sale on the roster for 2014. If no one fits that bill, then there is no trade partner.
Personally, I would want a package so egregiously favorable and appealing that all the prospect gurus squeal with delight, diehard fans from the other team’s fanbase grumble with hesitation and only a “flags fly forever” line delivered with a shrug can justify the multiple top-40 prospects going over to the Sox. Which is more to say, that I don’t want to talk about Chris Sale deals in the real world anymore.
Follow James Fegan on Twitter @JRFegan