The Chicago White Sox enter play on Tuesday 6.5 games back of the second American League Wild Card spot. The once-hopeful team is 1-7 since the All-Star break but whether they’ll be sellers at the Aug. 1 non-waiver trade deadline isn’t clear.
In a market devoid of top starting pitchers, Jose Quintana and ace Chris Sale reportedly are drawing plenty of outside interest. Sale made headlines over the weekend when he was scratched from a scheduled start against the Detroit Tigers.
Speculation immediately jumped to a trade being imminent, but the southpaw was instead sent home after cutting up the White Sox’ throwback uniforms that were to be worn that day. He’d previously voiced his displeasure with the uncomfortable uniforms.
Sale was fined by the club and is serving a five-day suspension. In his first interview since the incident, Sale explained the outburst was tied to his belief the sole focus should be on winning, and expressed a desire to remain in Chicago to bring a World Series to the city, via Scott Merkin of MLB.com:
“I want to win a championship in Chicago. That’s been my goal from Day 1,” Sale told MLB.com Monday afternoon during a 30-minute interview, his first public comments since Saturday. “It has never changed. I only get more passionate about it because I know that it’s not easy winning a championship. There’s a lot that goes into it.
Considering Sale is an elite starting pitcher and under team control through the 2019 season, it’s presumed any trade for the 27-year-old would come at a significant cost. The Los Angeles Dodgers may be willing to include Julio Urias in package, should Sale be made available.
Aside from reportedly giving consideration to including Urias in a potential trade for Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez, Los Angeles has otherwise decided against involving the prized 19-year-old in talks.
As for Sale, he’s 14-3 with a 3.18 ERA, 3.69 FIP and 1.01 WHIP this season. He’s tied for first in the Majors in wins, tied for second overall with three complete games, and ranks fifth in the American League with 133 innings pitched.
Sale’s next scheduled start is Thursday in the finale of a four-game series against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. The 5 p.m. PT start time will be nationally televised by ESPN.