The White Sox don't appear to be trading Chris Sale, but the ace left-hander was scratched from his start Saturday due to, according to multiple reports, flu-like symptoms.
Right-hander Matt Albers reportedly will start instead against the Detroit Tigers.
UPDATE: Fox Sports' Jon Morosi threw a wrench in the reports that Sale is sick with this:
Chris Sale, scratched by #WhiteSox today, is not believed to be ill, according to two sources.— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) July 23, 2016
The news of Sale’s scratching set Twitter ablaze with questions about if this year’s American League All-Star starting pitcher was on the move. On Friday, rumors circulated that the Texas Rangers were pushing to acquire Sale, but the White Sox reportedly were asking for a hefty return.
On Saturday, the Dallas Morning News’ Evan Grant reported the Rangers had moved on from talks with the White Sox and were focusing on acquiring a starting pitcher from the Tampa Bay Rays.
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MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reported Saturday the cost to acquire Sale would be “five top prospects.”
Earlier this week, general manager Rick Hahn said the White Sox were open to anything (except acquiring a second-half rental) but added that it might be “extreme” to undergo a full rebuild with Sale and fellow All-Star left-hander Jose Quintana under team control through 2019 and 2020, respectively.
“We certainly have desirable players that people would want to help them win a championship,” Hahn said.” But at the same time, we’re aware of the fact that we have a lot of high-quality talent under control for years beyond 2016.”
White Sox second baseman Brett Lawrie was out of the lineup for the second consecutive day with a tight left hamstring, and while he won’t require a stint on the 15-day disabled list, his injury has left manager Robin Ventura a little shorthanded.
The White Sox are carrying 13 pitchers, so with Tyler Saladino filling in for Lawrie at second base, they’ve been left with only three players on the bench for this weekend’s series against the Detroit Tigers. Ventura said he expects Lawrie to be ready to return to the lineup in the next couple of days.
Had outfielder Adam Eaton, who left Friday’s 7-5 loss after fouling a ball off his foot, needed to miss Saturday’s game, Ventura said the White Sox might’ve had to make a move to bring up another position player. Eaton is back leading off and playing right field on Saturday.
“It's a little tight having enough players on the bench,” Ventura said.
The White Sox position player depth has already been tested by injuries to outfielder Austin Jackson (knee) and catcher Alex Avila (hamstring), with both players unlikely to come off the disabled list for at least another month.
Avila, who re-aggravated his strained right hamstring Wednesday during a rehab game with Triple-A Charlotte, said he probably tried to return too quickly the White Sox. The 29-year-old Avila leads White Sox regulars with a .362 on-base percentage and said he’ll need at least two to four weeks to heal up.
“I probably tried to rush back a little too quick and wasn’t ready,” Avila said. “It's frustrating. I’d like to be back, but you have to let nature take its course."
Less than two months after Nate Chandler signed with the Bears, the team announced on Saturday that the offensive lineman has retired.
Chandler was expected to push Charles Leno for playing time at left tackle.
Amini Silatolu was signed by the Bears earlier this week to add more depth to the offensive line, but was thought to be more of a replacement for Ramirez at guard.
Chandler played collegiately at UCLA. He went undrafted, but signed with the Carolina Panthers and played in 37 games, with 19 starts, from 2012-2014. Due to a knee injury he was placed on injured reserve in 2015 and did not play.