The Texas Rangers have been serious players at the MLB trade deadline since Jon Daniels became the club's general manager, and this year will be no different. Let's take a look at a possible Rangers target for the July 31 deadline.
Target: Chris Sale, LHP, Chicago White Sox
We should preface this by saying the following: There are no published reports that the White Sox are actively shopping Sale, even though the Pale Hose's front office has said that anyone is available with the exception of slugger Paul Konerko, who the Rangers would probably actually be interested to fulfill their right-handed power bat need. So anyone with the exception of Konerko would include Sale.
Here's the thing about Sale: He's young, he's really good and he's relatively cheap and controllable — all reasons to believe he could be the biggest fish in the free-agent pond if he is indeed shopped by the White Sox.
Sale threw two perfect innings in Tuesday's All-Star Game and has a 2.85 ERA at the break with 131 strikeouts and would immediately step up to No. 2 in the Rangers' rotation, probably more like a "1a," the same as his crosstown contemporary Matt Garza would.
According to BaseballReference.com, Sale's recently signed extension lays out his money like this, year-by-year:
2014: $3.5 million
2015: $6 million
2016: $9.15 million
2017: $12 million
There are also two club options for 2018 and 2019, which means Sale could be a Ranger until he's 30 (yes, he's only 24 right now).
That is very affordable for a guy of Sale's ability, and would also surely mean the White Sox would demand super-prospect Jurickson Profar and probably one of two of Mike Olt and Martin Perez, which is a ton to pay, but you have to bring money if you want to party, and the Rangers know that.
This is a deal that likely wouldn't get done, and the White Sox will probably want to hold on to their ace for their rebuilding since he is so young, but you can't rule anything out from a last-place team, which the White Sox most definitely are with the second-worst record in the AL only to Houston.