MLB Trade Rumors: Chris Sale Has Preference To Remain On East Coast
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

With a new collective bargaining agreement now in place, the MLB offseason can press ahead business as usual. For the Chicago White Sox that means more intrigue as to whether or not they’ll trade Chris Sale or others.

It’s a position the White Sox found themselves in prior to the Aug. 1 non-waiver trade deadline, when they reportedly waffled back and forth between being open to deal Sale or Jose Quintana. While Chicago was believed to have been open to trading Sale, their desired return was not met.

The Los Angeles Dodgers were among the teams scouring the market for an elite starting pitcher, and they’re believed to be in a similar mindset this offseason.

Sale and Quintana reportedly are on the Dodgers’ radar, though the White Sox have not backed off their high demands for their ace.

According to Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball, the Dodgers are not one of the five teams believed to have an edge in the Sale sweepstakes:

Superstar White Sox left-hander Chris Sale is on the block, and it appears at least five teams are starting to separate themselves at the forefront of talks: the Nationals, Astros, Red Sox, Rangers and Braves.

Should the Dodgers factor into the picture for the left-hander, the White Sox are said to covet Cody Bellinger, Jose De Leon and Yasiel Puig, among others. Though, Sale reportedly would prefer to not head West:

Not that Sale’s preference would necessarily affect anyone, but word is that the Floridian Sale would prefer not to go to the West Coast.

Heyman’s report came prior to the Atlanta Braves acquiring Jaime Garcia from the St. Louis Cardinals, which may impact Atlanta’s thinking. The Braves previously signed Bartolo Colon and R.A. Dickey this offseason.

Sale, who turns 28 years old in March, went 17-10 with a 3.34 ERA, 3.46 FIP and 1.04 WHIP. He ranked second in the American League with 233 strikeouts.

Sale is guaranteed $12 million next season and his contract includes a $12.5 million club option ($1 million buyout) for 2018, and a $15 million club option ($1 million buyout) for 2019. Sale’s 2019 option increases to $16 million should he win a Cy Young Award in 2017 or ’18.