Imagining a New York Yankees Trade Package for Chris Sale


With all the rumors that the New York Yankees could be a dark horse to make a run at Chris Sale this winter, let’s take a look at what they’d actually have to give up to land the White Sox ace.

While he didn’t mention any names, New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman acknowledged that everyone knew exactly what player he was referencing when he said he didn’t think it would be in the team’s best interests at this stage to trade away a huge package of prospects for an ace during his October end-of-season press conference.

"I would be hard-pressed to do that. We’ve spent a lot of time and effort growing to this level. And I think that type of deal would be a deal where you are that final piece away…If you back the truck up with four or five players to finish it off, you’d have to be one piece away, and I would not recommend that type of decision-making as we approach 2017. I think that would be a dangerous approach."

He was clearly referring to Chicago White Sox ace Chris Sale, who is arguably the best player available on the trade market this winter. With a career 3.00 ERA and 3.06 FIP, Sale has been one of the most dominant starters in the American League since converting to the rotation in 2012. He’s made the All-Star squad and finished in the top six of the AL Cy Young Award voting in every season since then.

More from Yankees News

I have to take issue with Cashman’s logic here, while I would be loath to meet Chicago’s reported asking price of four to five blue-chip prospects, it seems to me that pairing Chris Sale with Masahiro Tanaka at the front of the Yankees rotation would absolutely make New York a strong World Series contender in 2017, especially if they went out and added a closer and a veteran bat as well.

To be clear, I’m not arguing that Cashman should make this deal, only that they are one piece away from contention if that piece is Chris Sale. The 27-year-old lefty has routinely been worth 5-7 wins above replacement, and there is a strong possibility that the team will start next season with at least one replacement level starter.

If the Yankees are an 84 win team again right now, Sale arguably makes them an 89-91 win team, and that’s before factoring in other potential additions they could make this winter.

So what would it take to bring Sale to the Bronx? This is the part that Yankees fans won’t like. The front office would be hard pressed to get the White Sox to agree to any package not including Gary Sanchez, but let’s assume he’s off limits.

Without Sanchez included, New York would definitely need to include at least three from the following group of elite young talent: Luis Severino, Aaron Judge, Clint Frazier, Gleyber Torres, Jorge Mateo, Blake Rutherford, James Kaprielian, Greg Bird, and Justus Sheffield. Including Frazier and/or Torres would probably be mandatory as the centerpiece.

After those three, the Yankees would likely have to include another two solid prospects from the 5-15 range in the system, along the lines of Miguel Andujar, Domingo Acevedo, Dillon Tate, Dustin Fowler or Chance Adams.

Next: Three Risky Starters the Yankees Should Target

Here’s a package that could at least get the White Sox talking: Frazier, Severino, Mateo, Tate, Fowler. Yes, that would be painful, but all big blockbusters are for prospect huggers. What do you guys think? Is there a four to five-prospect package from those names you wouldn’t mind giving up?