Dodgers Roundtable: Should Julio Urias Be Included In Trade For Chris Sale?
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers’ quest to acquire a starting pitcher prior to the Aug. 1 non-waiver trade deadline took an interesting turn Monday with a report indicating the club was willing to part with Julio Urias in a potential trade for Chicago White Sox ace Chris Sale.

It’s contingent on the White Sox electing to move Sale, which to this point they have yet to give any indication they’re motivated to do so. In his first public comments since being scratched on Saturday and subsequently suspended for 10 games, Sale said his preference is to remain with the White Sox.

From the Dodgers’ perspective, their reported willingness to package Urias is significant from the standpoint they’ve thus far refused to part with any of their top prospects.

With the possibility Los Angeles ships the prized 19-year-old lefty to Chicago, the staff weighed in with their thoughts on the potential trade.

Matt Borelli (@MattDodgerBlue):

As much as it would hurt to give up Urias in a trade, Sale is too great a talent to pass up on. For one, he’s only 27 years old and is just entering his prime. The fact that he’s under team control through the 2019 season only adds incentive to pull off a trade, especially with how weak the upcoming free agent class is.

Since 2012, Sale is fourth in pitching WAR, per FanGraphs, behind Clayton Kershaw, Max Scherzer and David Price.

If the worst-case scenario happens with Kershaw needing season-ending back surgery, having another ace like Sale will help soften the blow and keep postseason hopes alive.

And if Kershaw doesn’t need surgery and is able to re-join the rotation at some point, the Dodgers instantly become legitimate World Series contenders with a revamped pitching staff.

Eric Avakian (@AvakEric):

Yes, I believe the Dodgers need to pull the trigger and embrace the “win-now” mentality. While parting with Urias would be devastating, the Dodgers’ front office has to understand the opportunity in front of them.

The fact that Sale is under team control through the 2019 season can’t be forgotten. Also, getting Sale takes a lot of the pressure off Kershaw to rush his return. With the Dodgers offense finding their form of late, the team is beginning to shape into a formidable contender.

While the Dodgers lead the Wild Card, they now trail the San Francisco Giants by 2.5 games, with nine more head-to-head meetings with their longtime rival remaining this season. Allowing Kershaw to properly heal a sensitive injury could lead to the Dodgers gaining a fresh ace who is ready for the stretch run and postseason.

The two best southpaws in baseball atop a playoff rotation sounds intimidating.

Daniel Starkand (@DStarkand):

While it is a very risky move, I would not hesitate to trade Urias for Sale. If you have the opportunity to pair two of the most dominant pitchers in baseball in Sale and Kershaw while both pitchers are in their primes, that’s a hard opportunity to pass up.

While Urias is one of the best prospects in baseball and a future ace, nothing is certain yet with him. He is just that, a prospect. Sale is a proven ace, pitching in a hitter’s park in the American League.

Coming to pitch in the National League West at Dodger Stadium will only benefit him, and the possibility of having him and Kershaw in the same rotation for years to come seems like the best path for the Dodgers to win one, or multiple World Series titles.

Matthew Moreno (@MMoreno1015)

I’m legitimately torn by this but to go against the grain in our roundtable will say the Dodgers should not include Urias in a potential trade for Sale. Yes, he’s an elite pitcher under team control for multiple years.

But he made his debut at 21 years old and pitching out of the bullpen. Urias still over two weeks away from turning 19. And not only was he immediately thrown into the starting rotation, he’s faced the New York Mets, Chicago Cubs, Giants, Washington Nationals (twice) and Baltimore Orioles.

The results have been what you’d expect — and at times better — from a pitcher his age. To me, Urias has a little more upside than Sale. The Dodgers went the co-ace route and fell short. It doesn’t necessarily mean such an approach will never pan out, but there are other means and strategies available.

Plus, given what the New York Yankees received from the Chicago Cubs Aroldis Chapman, and with the White Sox already said to have turned down a “king’s ransom” for Sale, I can’t get comfortable with what other prospects the Dodgers would need to include.

Jared Massey (@JarredJMassey):

While I’ve never been one to love the idea of trading prospects, especially the Dodgers’ most promising young players, I think Sale is the type of player for whom the team should deal from the top of the farm system.

In the absolute best-case scenario, Urias becomes a pitcher like Sale. So why hang on to a guy who has an outside shot at becoming an ace when you could have the ace? Sure, Sale is older and has more mileage on his arm.

But while Urias has shown flashes, there’s still some projection remaining, specifically with his command, that would keep him from reaching a ceiling comparable to Sale’s. So while it pains me as a prospect hugger, I think the Dodgers should include Urias in a deal for Sale.

Jeff Spiegel (@JeffSpiegel):

The answer to this question is 100 percent dependent on the health of Kershaw. If we’re talking about a serious injury that keeps Kershaw out for the remainder of the year, I’m fine with including Urias in order to get Sale.

The Dodgers need an ace, and at just 2.5 games back in the division with the Giants imploding, now’s the time to make a run. If Kershaw will be back, however, I’d hold off.

Kershaw, Brandon McCarthy, Kenta Maeda and Scott Kazmir form a decent playoff rotation, and one that I don’t think is worth giving up Urias in order to upgrade. Remember, the Royals won the World Series with Edinson Volquez as their ace.