In theory, Chris Sale’s value would not be lower. His inability to remain healthy, coupled with the $55 million that he is due over the next two years, would seemingly make him the type of player that other teams would avoid.
That may not be the case. According to Jon Heyman, teams are checking in with the Boston Red Sox on his availability. However, since Sale does have a full no-trade clause, such interest may simply be academic in nature.
Boston Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale actually generating trade interest
There was a time when Sale was amongst the best pitchers in the game. He was an All Star every year from 2012 through 2018, a perennial Cy Young candidate, and one of the few true aces in baseball. He posted a 2.91 ERA and a 1.025 WHiP in his 1388 innings in that time frame, striking out 1678 batters with 300 walks. A key part of the Red Sox World Series winning team in 2018, it was no surprise that they signed him to a long term extension.
However, Sale has not been the same since the end of the 2018 season. A laundry list of injuries have sapped his effectiveness when he has been on the mound, which has not been all too frequently. He has just 195.2 innings over the past four seasons, posting a 4.09 ERA and a 1.140 WHiP. His swing and miss stuff and command are still there, as Sale has 275 strikeouts with 50 walks, showing that there is still something left.
That is what teams would be banking on. Sale would be the ultimate buy-low candidate at this point, a broken down pitcher who will be turning 34 years old before the start of the season. But there is still the chance that he can return to form if he is healthy. That hope, and the flashes that he has displayed over the past few years when he has been on the mound, are enough to make teams interested in his services.
Chris Sale is still an intriguing option on the mound. According to reports, teams are reaching out to the Boston Red Sox about his availability.