Remember back around the trade deadline, when the White Sox were reportedly listening to offers on Chris Sale? Okay, but do you remember how the Red Sox were among the interested parties? Good, good. Then you’d probably like to know just who the White Sox wanted in return, right? Now we know — sort of, anyway.
Last week, Bruce Levine reported the White Sox wanted outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. as part of a trade. Jon Heyman has since upped the ante, suggesting the White Sox were insistent on Bradley’s inclusion:
“If they didn’t get Jackie Bradley, there was no way they were doing the deal,” one person familiar with their thinking said.
Bradley makes sense as a top piece for various reasons. Though he’ll qualify for arbitration this winter, he’s under team control through the 2020 season. In addition to being one of the best defensive outfielders in baseball — due more so to his preternatural feel than explosive athleticism — he’s put together a well-above-average offensive effort over his last 780 trips to the plate by hitting .265/.347/.501 with 32 home runs and a 120 OPS+. That’s an All-Star-level talent, easy.
You might be caught off guard then by Heyman’s note that the White Sox wanted prospects as well as Bradley, but that part makes sense, too. Sale is, has been, and will remain amongst the biggest bargains in baseball. Even after next year, his contract calls for a pair of club options worth $26 million combined — or probably less than he would receive on the open market in a single season. Pitchers are riskier than hitters and so and so forth, yet we’re talking about a left-handed ace here. Those don’t grow on trees — and if they did, we’d have bigger problems than month-old trade talks.
Obviously we’re missing a big part of the picture here — what prospects Chicago wanted — but it seems like both parties were acting reasonably and responsibly at the deadline.
Source: CBS Sports Headlines / The White Sox wanted Bradley Jr., more in Sale trade and here’s why it makes sense