LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — The White Sox may listen to offers for Chris Sale but they won’t budge unless they’re blown away.
One baseball source said the Arizona Diamondbacks, who have a pitching-rich farm system, have made attempts to lure the two-time All-Star pitcher away, but the White Sox haven’t shown interest in moving Sale. A report Sunday night indicated the White Sox might listen to offers for Sale, who signed a club-friendly contract extension with the club last spring.
Based on the number of top-20 prospects in each league, Baseball America currently rates Arizona as having the No. 9 farm system in baseball. The Diamondbacks’ top two farmhands headed into the 2013 season included left-handed pitcher Tyler Skaggs and right-hander Archie Bradley, who were rated No. 12 and 25 overall in Baseball America’s top 100 prospects.
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Sale, who last spring signed a contract that could pay him up to $60 million through 2019, went 11-14 with a 3.07 ERA in 30 games last season. He struck out 226 batters in 214 1/3 innings and finished fifth in the American League Cy Young vote last month.
White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf said Monday he’d heard rumors about Sale and said only one player has ever been untouchable, Michael Jordan. He also added that he’d be surprised if general manager Rick Hahn traded Sale.
“I only had player in my 33 years of sports that couldn’t be traded. He wore No. 23 and 45 when he played baseball. Never had another player that couldn’t be traded so I can’t tell you when I see Rick (Hahn) and Kenny (Williams) today they don’t tell me they want to trade (Sale), but I’d be very surprised.”
Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers has made no secret this offseason he covets a frontline starting pitcher. Towers has been reportedly tried to lure David Price away from the Tampa Bay Rays and Jeff Samardzija from the Cubs.
According to Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan, the White Sox would need a bigger deal in return than the Rays are expected to fetch in a Price deal in order to trade Sale.