ORLANDO - White Sox ace Chris Sale is one of baseball's best young pitchers and is coming off a Cy Young-caliber season if you ignore the win-loss record -- which was a product of playing on a terrible team. He'd surely land a huge package in return if the White Sox traded him, but would they?
Well, it's possible. He's not untouchable. Just ask White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf:
Jerry Reinsdorf on #Whitesox rumors re Chris Sale: "I've only had 1 player in my 33 years who couldn't be traded. He played basketball.— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) December 9, 2013
To those unaware, Reinsdorf also owns the Bulls. The NBA's Chicago Bulls, for whom a certain player by the name of Michael Jordan once played.
Now that White Sox fans are sufficiently panicked, we'll point out that just because a player isn't untradeable doesn't mean he's going to go:
Reinsdorf added he'd be "very surprised" if Chris Sale is traded.— Daryl Van Schouwen (@CST_soxvan) December 9, 2013
Sale, 24, was 11-14 with a 3.07 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and 226 strikeouts in 214 1/3 innings this past season for the White Sox. He made his second straight All-Star team and finished fifth in Cy Young voting -- a season after finishing sixth.
Given that he's signed to a club-friendly deal through 2017 -- with club options for 2018 and 2019 -- the White Sox would make an absolute killing if they dealt him this offseason. He'd immediately be the most coveted starter on the market, leapfrogging David Price and Jeff Samardzija, if he's shopped.
It does not, however, sound like that is the case, even if he's not MJ.