Although the White Sox suspended ace Chris Sale after scratching him Saturday for cutting up their throwback uniforms before their game against Detroit, they’re not necessarily any likelier to deal the rumored trade candidate than they were before, writes FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal. That doesn’t mean he’ll stay put, though, and given the lack of high-quality starters scheduled to hit the upcoming free agent market, numerous executives have told Rosenthal that the White Sox might be better off waiting to move Sale until the offseason. In their view, shopping Sale in the winter would enable Chicago to involve more teams in the sweepstakes. While Rosenthal regards Saturday’s incident as a hit to Sale’s reputation, he notes that it won’t turn interested teams off from wanting to acquire him. As for Sale, whether he remains a member of the White Sox or goes elsewhere, he’s “fine either way,” per Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.
Other notes pertaining to the Aug. 1 non-waiver trade deadline:
- The last-place Rays are discussing their starting pitchers with at least 10 teams and will likely wait until right before the deadline to make any decisions, reports Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. Chris Archer, Jake Odorizzi and Matt Moore have been particularly popular in the rumor mill lately. Other Rays who could switch homes include hot-hitting infielder Steve Pearce and right-handed swingman Erasmo Ramirez, per Topkin.
- The chances of the Orioles acquiring outfielder Melvin Upton Jr. from the Padres are as high as 45 percent, a high-ranking O’s source told Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun. Still, a deal remains somewhat unlikely, cautions Schmuck, who notes that money could complicate the rumored trade involving Upton and Orioles righty Ubaldo Jimenez. Upton has $22MM coming his way through 2017, while Jimenez will rake in another $18MM over the same period, and Schmuck doesn’t expect a swap to occur without the Orioles eating some of Jimenez’s contract. In the meantime, Upton is out of the Padres’ lineup Sunday, relays Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune, though a move isn’t imminent. Manager Andy Green wanted to give the 31-year-old Upton a day off with “everything swirling around him” (Twitter links)
- Given that Jimenez went on the paternity list Saturday, the Orioles aren’t allowed to trade him for three days, tweets Heyman. Moreover, there remains work to be done between the O’s and Padres on a possible deal, according to Heyman (Twitter links).
- Indians closer Cody Allen would be open to a role change if the team were to acquire another ninth-inning option by the deadline, he told Jordan Bastian of MLB.com (Twitter link). Cleveland is reportedly one of the clubs in on the Yankees’ Aroldis Chapman, who would likely supplant Allen as the Tribe’s go-to arm in the ninth. Allen has been among the game’s best closers in his own right since taking the helm in 2014. The hard-throwing 27-year-old has converted 19 of 21 save chances this season while posting a 2.59 ERA, 11.02 K/9, 3.89 BB/9 and 46.3 ground-ball rate over 41 2/3 innings.