Mike Rizzo's track record says the Nats could pull off Chris Sale trade

Chris Sale was tied for fifth in baseball last season with 233 strikeouts. Harry How/Getty Images

When the Chicago White Sox began informing other teams last summer that they would listen to offers for All-Star left-hander Chris Sale, there was a lot of skepticism among rival evaluators that the White Sox would ever push a deal across the finish line, based on the asking prices. For example: The White Sox suggested -- just a few months ago -- that Boston would have to give up Mookie Betts, Yoan Moncada and more for Sale.

But since this offseason began, perception of the White Sox's intentions has changed. Some evaluators now believe they will move Sale as Chicago begins a major makeover of its 40-man roster. The White Sox have told the Cubs they won't deal with them, but it appears that a handful of teams -- the Dodgers, Cardinals, Rangers, Nationals and Astros, among others -- have a legitimate shot at landing MLB's second-best left-hander.

It's hard to imagine St. Louis could get Sale without including Alex Reyes, and perhaps any Houston deal for Sale would have to involve Alex Bregman.

The Nationals have a large group of pitching prospects to choose from; according to these rankings, four of their top six prospects are pitchers, in a list that reflects the general view of Washington's farm system. If the Nats land Sale, their rotation could look like this: