With less than two weeks until MLB's trade deadline, we'll take a look in the coming days and weeks at some names that could be available between now and the deadline, then debate whether those names make sense for the Texas Rangers.
We have to start this writeup, one that was requested via email and Twitter, with a note of caution: It's not as though the White Sox are actively shopping Sale. This isn't a Matt Garza situation. There are a bunch of reasons that Sale is different, starting with his contract.
Sale, 24, was in New York for the All-Star Game festivities this week. It was his second All-Star Game and he entered the Big Apple with the fifth-best ERA mark in the AL (2.85) and fifth in strikeouts (131). He signed a five-year extension prior to this season that pays him $850,000 this year, $3.5 million in 2014, $6 million in 2015, $9.15 million in 2016 and $12 million in 2017. The deal includes two club option years (2018 and 2019) for a total of $26 million (that could be higher based on certain incentives) if both are executed by the club.
So this is far from a rental. Again, the biggest question is whether White Sox general manager Rick Hahn wants to make him available. It would take a huge haul to get him and you can bet Jurickson Profar would be part of any of those discussions if the Rangers had a chance to get him. But it would be a chance for the White Sox to load up on minor league -- and even some major league -- talent if they did dangle Sale.
The starting pitching market is thin, as we've discussed. Putting Sale into that mix could pay huge dividends for the White Sox. At his age and what he has done in his career so far, he should be extremely appealing to the Rangers. Imagine him sitting with Yu Darvish on top of this rotation for years to come. Not only is that an enviable playoff rotation this season, but it sets up well for the long haul for Texas.
In nearly every situation, the Rangers would prefer to get a player with long-term potential and control if they sacrifice a huge chunk of prospects. Sale is one of those guys. The question, again, is whether he'll be available.
Peavy is a bit different. He isn't Sale, but he has got a track record and, when healthy, would improve the Rangers' rotation. According to various reports, he's slated to go back into the White Sox's rotation on Saturday. Assuming he shows he's healthy and can produce, he could be an interesting option for clubs, especially if Sale isn't available. If I'm running the Rangers, I'm interested in Peavy too. And I wonder if there might be a way to put a prospect package together, headlined by Mike Olt, to get both Peavy and Alex Rios. If you're thinking Sale and Rios together, that's the kind of thing that you'd have to bring Profar into the discussions about. It's all speculation at this point, but it's fun to talk about.
Would you give up a package fronted by Profar (and including a few pitching prospects and probably a bat like Mike Olt's or Joey Gallo's) to get Sale? Would the White Sox even do that? Let me ask it another way: Would you rather give up that package for Sale or Giancarlo Stanton? Do you like Peavy?