No sale on Chris Sale, but were the Astros ever really in it with the White Sox asking price?
Well Houston Astros fans, while things have been great this offseason. They have added Brian McCann, Josh Reddick, Charlie Morton, Nori Aoki, and Carlos Beltran. With a weak pitching free agent market, the quality starting pitchers will be available via trade. Jeff Luhnow was reportedly interested in Chris Sale but was unwilling to give up Alex Bregman per Jon Heyman.
The asking price was quite high for Sale, but Bregman is a big part of this young core. Before Sale was traded to the Red Sox, Chuck Garfien tweeted that the Astros upped their offer. I have no idea what the Stros’ offer was. Yoan Moncada and Michael Kopech (2 other prospects too) went to the White Sox. Those two represent the Red Sox first and fifth top prospects via MLB Pipeline.
The other two prospects were RHP Victor Diaz (#28) and OF Luis Basabe (#8 via MLB Pipeline). They got three of the Red Sox top ten prospects. While hard to compare players, it would be similar to Bregman, Francis Martes, Derek Fisher, and Keegan Yuhl.
The Stros now have to switch their attention elsewhere. The available names off the top of my head are Jose Quintana, Chris Archer, Jake Odorizzi, Danny Duffy, Drew Smyly, or Justin Verlander. It’s unclear how available Verlander is, and he comes with a lot of baggage. No, not Kate Upton, $84 million with options putting it up to $106 million for 3-4 years. How much would the Tigers eat in return for better prospects?
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According to multiple reports, the White Sox have said that they will listen to most players. After trading Sale, they are going on a fire sale. They are getting calls on Quintana now, could the Stros turn to Sale? Quintana is set to make $15.85 million for the next two years plus team options for $22 million for next two years. He would be my choice, but the White Sox might get greedy.
Reports have the asking price for Archer is high right now, and they are very lukewarm on trading him. The Stros have contacted them about Archer. This is the hot stove season. We want to see some actions. With the other options thinning out, the front office can’t wait for the Rays.
With the Red Sox getting Sale, Luhnow has to ask himself if they need to answer the Red Sox getting Sale. The Red Sox are now the favorites in the AL, with the Astros a close second. In an interesting twist, according to Dan Haynes, it appears that the Astros never offered Bregman. Do the Stros stick to their developing the farm and not respond to the Red Sox trade?
***Stats and salary information from Baseball-Reference***