Red Sox’s Chris Sale drawing trade interest
Teams are reportedly checking in with the Red Sox on the availability of seven-time All-Star Chris Sale, per Jon Heyman of The New York Post.
However, Heyman notes that Boston is “not looking to trade any of their starters,” but is “willing to listen and consider.” Sale is currently owed $55M through the 2024 season.
Nevertheless, Sale has full veto power over any potential trade by virtue of his 10-and-5 rights (ten years of Major League service time, including at least the past five with the same team).
However, after signing that extension Sale went on to have arguably the worst full season of his career.
In 2019, the southpaw saw his ERA balloon to a career-high 4.40 in 147 1/3 innings while dealing with inflammation in his pitching elbow that forced a premature end to his year.
After rehabilitation and undergoing a platelet-rich plasma injection, expectations were high for the lefty as the extension went into effect for the 2020 season.
However, Sale would soon be forced to undergo Tommy John surgery in March 2020, missing the entirety of the truncated season and the first half of the 2021 season.
Altogether, it’s been a near-nightmarish start to the contract extension for the Red Sox, although this year’s slate of injuries, in particular, seem fluky in nature.
To Sale’s credit, in the small amount of time he’s been healthy enough to take the mound during the first three years of the extension, he’s been excellent.
In those 48 1/3 innings, Sale owns a 3.17 ERA with a strong 27.4%% strikeout rate against a tidy 6.3% walk rate. Inning-for-inning, ...
...that’s largely the type of performance the Sox were hoping for — but Sale’s body has not held up.
The 33-year-old Sale (34 in March) is but one of many question marks for the Boston rotation. Nick Pivetta is the only largely established starting option for the Sox heading into 2023.
Righties Garrett Whitlock and Tanner Houck have rotation potential but both have thus far been shuttled between the starting staff and the bullpen.
Nevertheless, the club has yet to add to their staff, instead fortifying their bullpen and adding position players Masataka Yoshida and Justin Tucker.
That’s not to say that Sale is currently at the level of those pitchers, but that he has been at similar heights and could reasonably reach a prominent level of production again
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