White Sox left-hander and top trade candidate Chris Sale was scratched from his start Saturday due to a clubhouse incident that was “not physical in nature,” according to a club statement. The White Sox are currently investigating the incident.
Official: Chris Sale has been scratched from tonight’s scheduled start.— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) July 23, 2016
Chicago’s decision to scratch Sale caused wild speculation around baseball circles just a day after it was reported that the team is listening to offers on both Sale and lefty Jose Quintana. Teams like the Red Sox and Rangers were rumored to have some interest in Sale, though the ChiSox are requiring a massive return in talks.
Chicago’s asking price is “prohibitive,” according to an executive who has talked to them about Sale in recent days. The White Sox are looking for five top-level prospects, according to industry sources.
Today’s incident is the second major incident that Sale has been involved in this year, as the All-Star had a heated confrontation with team president Kenny Williams in the wake of the team’s decision to ban Adam LaRoche’s son, Drake, from being in the clubhouse. According to FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal, Sale told Williams to “get out of the clubhouse and stay out” before publicly slamming Williams for the decision that ultimately led to Adam LaRoche’s surprise retirement.
It is unclear if the tension between Sale and Williams stemming from that incident is still present, though it is fair to wonder if the previous friction between the left-hander and the club’s front office make a trade before the Aug. 1 trade deadline more likely.
When reached Saturday evening, White Sox officials and Sale’s representatives at Jet Sports Management refused comment on the incident.