Chris Sale’s name on the trade block has only been magnified since his “jersey shredding” incident on Saturday.
Despite his apology, problems between him and the Chicago White Sox started to appear well before it; but now it’s for certain they’ll never go away. If you think Sale is crazy, go ahead, but the nuttiest of people always end up in New York City.
Without a major splash at last year’s trade deadline from Brian Cashman and the New York Yankees organization, it’s time that they launch a cannonball in an effort to secure themselves an ace for years to come.
Sale might of had an off the field incident, leading to a 5-game suspension, but what he’s been able to do on the mound has solidified his name as one of the most valuable pitchers in the MLB. At the moment, he’s leading the American League with 14 wins; while also making his 5th straight All-Star appearance this season.
Last year for the White Sox, he led the AL in strikeouts with 274, which has helped him hold the highest strikeout rate per 9 innings (10.095 ) out of all active pitchers. It’s obvious that he’s a stud on the mound, and finishing top-6 in Cy Young voting for the past 4 years has done him justice.
We can list stats all day, but pitches like these show how deadly Sale’s arm can be for opposing batters.
— MLB (@MLB) July 3, 2016
Sale’s incredible pitching has been overshadowed by his personality issues in Chicago, but he’d be able to have a fresh start as part of the most storied franchise in sports.
It’s been a tough couple of years for the 27-time World Series Champions, with them only making the playoffs once in the past 4 seasons. Their hopes of returning to the post season aren’t over, with them being 7.5 games behind the AL East leading, Baltimore Orioles, and only 3.5 games behind the 3rd placed, Toronto Blue Jays.
They might not resemble the old school Bombers anymore, but their starting pitching has been their biggest weakness these past couple seasons. C.C. Sabathia and Michael Pineda don’t seem like they’ll ever recover to their normal selves, while Luis Severino has started the season with an 0-6 record.
Ivan Nova and Nathan Eovaldi have been decent, but haven’t given the Yankees any breathing room, with them both holding an ERA well above 4.00. The closest resemblance the Yankees have to an ace is Masahiro Tanaka, who could be given credit for keeping the Yankees season alive; holding a 7-2 record with a 3.00 ERA.
Tanaka is the only Yankees pitcher to complete over 115 innings, with him logging 129 innings in his 20 starts. Considering his injury history, it wouldn’t be smart for the Yankees to hang their hopes on Tanaka being able to single handily take them to the postseason without any consequences.
The failed effort by the entirety of the Yankees’ starting rotation, has led the organization to trading Arnoldis Chapman. Of course his contract situation is also a reason, but there wasn’t any point of having 3 of the best relief pitchers without the starting rotation being able put them in a position to secure a win.
The prospects the Yankees were able to receive for Chapman, could do them wonders when it comes to making an effort for Sale. They could also include one of the many veterans that are still wearing pinstripes as they make their way towards retirement.
Unlike Chapman, Sale has one of the best contracts in the league; with it extending to the 2018-19 season. He’ll be making $12 million next season, with the following couple seasons including team options that would pay him around $12.5 and $13.5 million.
There may be some personality issues, but there’s enough in New York City to create the necessary balance; especially when considering the price.
All stats for this article are from Baseball-Reference.com
You can follow Bryan Meler on Twitter @BryanMelo97