One rival exec recently downplayed the likelihood of a trade, suggesting the White Sox would only move the five-time All-Star for an unrealistic, exorbitant return, according to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal.
“They’re willing but only if they totally win the deal, which won’t happen,” the executive said.
Still, they’re going to get plenty of offers. Sale, who finished in the top-six in American League Cy Young voting in four of the past five seasons, will make a maximum of $ 38 million over the next three years (assuming his team options for 2018 and 2019 are exercised), and, according to various reports, has already drawn interest from the Washington Nationals, Atlanta Braves, and Texas Rangers.
For the White Sox, though, moving Sale would indicate a full-on rebuild, and it’s not clear whether general manager Rick Hahn wants to do that. As he discussed his offseason strategy with reporters last week, Hahn didn’t say he was rebuilding, but did emphasize the club won’t be targeting short-term upgrades this winter as they have the previous couple seasons.
“A lot of what we did in the last few years had been trying to enhance the short-term potential of the club to put ourselves in a position to win immediately,” Hahn said, according to Dan Hayes of CSNChicago. “I feel the approach at this point is focusing on longer-term benefits. It doesn’t mean we won’t necessarily be in a good position in 2017. It means that our targets and whatever we’re hoping to accomplish have a little more longer-term fits in nature.”