NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — The Nationals and White Sox have a “legitimate chance” at completing a deal that would send Chris Sale to Washington, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman echoes that report, noting that the Nats have a “clear lead” in the Sale sweepstakes.
Washington is reportedly willing to include top prospects Lucas Giolito and Victor Robles as part of the return package for Sale, which has piqued the interest of the ChiSox. It was originally thought that the Nats would have to include Trea Turner in any effort to acquire Sale, but appears the sides are continuing to work on a deal without Turner included.
As USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reports, the White Sox are discussing Sale with multiple clubs and are not expected to complete a trade tonight. At last check, the Red Sox remained interested in the lefty while other teams, like the Rangers and Braves, appeared to be out.
Washington entered the Winter Meetings on their home turf with Sale as their top target, though the team has also continued its pursuit of outfielder Andrew McCutchen. The Nats are also involved in the market for relievers, and have interest in Neftali Feliz and Brad Ziegler after losing Mark Melancon to the Giants.
Sale is the undisputed top player available this offseason, and would be a monumental acquisition for the Nationals if a deal is completed. The potential 1-2 punch of Sale and Max Scherzer would be baseball’s best, giving the Nats a chance to compete as legitimate World Series contenders next season.