The Red Sox and White Sox not only share similar nicknames, but they’ve also shared struggles in each of the last two seasons. In fact, Boston and Chicago have identical 149-175 records over that stretch. Here’s the latest from both shades of Sox…
- Chris Sale had some harsh words for executive VP Kenny Williams in the wake of the Adam LaRoche controversy, though this hasn’t had any impact on Sale’s future with the team, a White Sox official tells Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. There is “no chance” Sale would be traded, the official said: “There was no chance in the offseason and no chance now. We’re building our team around Chris Sale.”
- Just in case the relationship between Sale and the White Sox has indeed gone south, Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe opines that the Red Sox should make a trade inquiry. Abraham admits that Sale and and the Pale Hose “will probably make peace,” though this piece gives an idea of the gigantic price Chicago would demand for its ace. Abraham suggests Boston could offer a trade package that includes Allen Craig and $18MM of his salary, plus young righty Anderson Espinoza and three other top-tier prospects. In my opinion, I think even this impressive offer wouldn’t be enough to land a valuable asset like Sale, who is prized for not just his ability but also his contract — $21.15MM through 2017 and then club options for 2018 and 2019 worth a respective $12.5MM and $13.5MM.
- While Craig may not be part of a blockbuster Red Sox trade package, Cafardo also suggests the first baseman could be a fit for the White Sox with LaRoche gone. Chicago seems ready to fill LaRoche’s DH spot with Melky Cabrera and Avisail Garcia, though since Boston would inevitably be footing almost all of the $21MM remaining on Craig’s contract, it might not be a bad flier to take (especially since Cabrera and Garcia are coming off poor seasons). Craig is trying to revive his career after two rough seasons that dropped his stock to the point that he was outrighted off Boston’s 40-man roster last year.
- In other first base trade speculation, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times wonders if James Loney could be a fit for the White Sox. The Rays have been unsuccessfully shopping Loney all winter and are reportedly willing to cover some of the $8MM Loney is owed in 2016. Like LaRoche, Loney is also a left-handed hitter, perhaps making him a more ideal complement to the right-handed Garcia and Jose Abreu.
- LaRoche’s dispute with the White Sox about his son’s presence in the clubhouse has drawn a lot of response from around baseball, with ESPN’s Buster Olney (subscription required) collecting some reaction from unnamed officials and front office personnel. Most observes were surprised by the unusual nature of LaRoche’s demand that his son be a constant presence with the club and the seeming lack of communication between Kenny Williams, Rick Hahn and Robin Ventura about the situation.
- “Honestly, I don’t think I was talking about the Red Sox,” David Price told Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch about his early comments about his ideal new team. Price was focused on joining a team with a pipeline of young talent, and was initially thinking about the Cardinals and Cubs rather than the Red Sox since he “wasn’t as familiar” with Boston’s farm system. The Cards and Cubs ended up being the next two highest bidders for Price’s services this winter, though their offers reportedly fell well short of the seven-year, $217MM contract Price signed with Boston since the Red Sox were intent on landing the ace.
- One final note from Cafardo’s column: he notes that Red Sox infield prospect Marco Hernandez could be a trade target for other clubs in the wake of Hernandez’s strong Spring Training performance. Hernandez, ranked as the 12th-best prospect in Boston’s system by Baseball America, is a 23-year-old who posted a combined .305/.330/.454 slash line over 484 PA at Double and Triple-A last season. While his bat is still developing, Hernandez already has value as a utility infielder able to play second, third and shortstop.