White Sox call Astros and say give us Bregman, Martes and Reed for Sale or we trade him to the Rangers. Then what? https://t.co/NMV1Av2fVf— Matt Young (@Chron_MattYoung) July 22, 2016
I will be using ERA+ throughout this article.
With the Chicago White Sox in fourth place in the AL central, hovering around .500, and seven games out of a wild card spot, it would appear that the team is on the selling side of the trade market. Astros' fans have been wanting Sale since he was drafted by the White Sox five spots after the Astros took Delino DeShields. And for good reason.
Sale has a career 138 ERA+. He has struck out 10 batters per nine innings for his career and he's been perennial Cy Young candidate since 2012. This season his ERA+ is 129. He leads the league in wins and innings pitched. This is the type of pitcher a team likes to add for a playoff run. Oh, and he's signed through next season plus two team options worth $12.5M and $13.5M. Yes, please!
Price: This is gonna hurt for prospect hoarders. The scenario above is three of the Astros top five prospects in the system. I've already been called insane on Twitter, but I'll say it again. I'll do that deal. I'd prefer to replace Bregman with two other names, but I wouldn't push it too much. Sale is controllable through 2019. Which is perfect if the Astros expect to make the playoffs for the next several years.
I thought he was kidding considering the Astros just knocked Matt Shoemaker out of the Friday night game vs. the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Then I got the name again.@TimothyDeBlock - Shoemaker— Ed Astro (@Ed8astro) July 23, 2016
On first glance he looks average. Literally. His ERA+ (prior to Friday's game) was a cool 100. Which is the definition of average. Something is a bit off here though. His peripherals look good. He's striking out over nine batters per nine innings and he's walking just under two batters per nine innings. The BABIP .329 is likely the reason for the average results so far this season. As that starts to trend downwards his results should improve. Which makes him an appealing option for the Astros down the stretch.
Price: Shoemaker is 29 and won't hit free agency until 2021. He doesn't have much of a track record. He'll be cheaper than Sale, but the price will be driven up by the team control he has left. Then again the age is a little bit of an issue. We're talking one maybe two top 30 prospects plus some other pieces.