Seven-time All-Star Chris Sale is reportedly a player that the Boston Red Sox have been getting trade calls about in recent days.
Sale’s tenure in Boston has been a mixed bag. After acquiring the Chicago White Sox ace in a trade before the 2017 season, Sale proved to be exactly what the team was looking for as he earned All-Star honors his first two seasons. However, things went downhill fast in year three.
Sale had a shockingly bad showing after signing a five-year, $145 million contract extension with the Red Sox before the 2019 season. He posted a 6-11 record and an uncharacteristic 4.40 ERA in 25 starts and ended the season on injured reserve with elbow inflammation. That was the start of a major injury-led fall from grace that was punctuated by Tommy John surgery in 2020.
While he has been solid in his performances since the surgery and recovery, he has been unable to take the mound much and has only made 11 starts in the last two seasons. That is why it is not surprising that the Boston Red Sox are willing to listen to trade offers on the pitcher that is still owed $75 million over the next three seasons.
5 possible Chris Sale trade landing spots
On Sunday, New York Post MLB insider Jon Heyman reported that teams around the league have reached out to the Boston Red Sox to see if Chris Sale could be available this offseason.
“Teams are checking on Chris Sale’s availability. Red Sox are not looking to trade any of their starters but view rotation as an area of depth and are at least willing to listen and consider. Sale does have a complete no-trade clause so he can veto potential deals.”– Chris Sale trade report
If the Red Sox were willing to trade their former ace, these are the five teams he would likely waive his no-trade clause to go to.
San Diego Padres
The San Diego Padres are all in on trying to win a World Series title in the next couple of years. They showed that by trading for Juan Soto last summer, and by signing Xander Bogaerts to a massive deal in December. They have reportedly been looking to add more pitching, and they could view Sale as a worthwhile risk in pursuit of the final piece in a championship puzzle.
The Houston Astros are the defending champions and are expected to be contenders again in 2023. However, they still have a massive hole in the rotation after American League Cy Young Justin Verlander signed with the Mets in MLB free agency.
The team shockingly re-invented Verlander when he seemed done six years ago. They could view Sale as their next former star reclamation project.
The Atlanta Braves reportedly made an early push for Mets ace Jacob deGrom before he eventually signed with the Rangers. If the team is still looking for starting pitchers with a strong resume, Chris Sale could be a very good fit and at a far cheaper rate than deGrom received in MLB free agency.
Philadelphia Phillies President Dave Dombrowski has made it clear he wants to add whatever is needed to win a championship next season. Signing All-Star shortstop Trea Turner this winter was step one. Swinging a blockbuster trade for Chris Sale could be the next to help bolster their starting rotation for another World Series run.
San Francisco Giants
The San Francisco Giants swung and missed on several big moves in MLB free agency over the last month. Plus, they lost their 2022 ace Carlos Rodon in the process. They need to make more moves to compete with the likes of the Dodgers and Padres and there are few options left on the market. A trade for Chris Sale would make a splash and be a high upside risk for a team with low expectations in 2023.