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Red Sox 'pushing hardest' for Chris Sale trade, Moncada not likely involved

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The Red Sox are making the biggest deadline push for Chris Sale, but the deal likely wouldn't involve Moncada, and might well not happen at all.

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The Red Sox are "pushing the hardest" to pull off a trade for the White Sox' Chris Sale according to Ken Rosenthal, who cautions that any deal is still very much theoretical. If the Red Sox were to trade for Sale before today's trade deadline, Yoan Moncada would likely not be part of the deal according to MLB.com's Phil Rogers, with Eduardo Rodriguez and Andrew Benintendi instead forming the core of the package being sent to Chicago.

I mentioned last week that Rodriguez, realistically, would be the key to any Sale trade. To make a long story short, Sale would be taking Rodriguez' place on the roster both now and in the immediate future, and the Sox would not be looking to sell low on Rodriguez based on a year which saw him injured in spring training and then forced back into service just a week after suffering a setback, based more on the team's rotation needs than his actually being ready.

This, then, is how the deal could get done, and lends some credence to the idea that one might actually be happening, even if the Sox have been called a "long shot" for Sale's services.

As for whether this is something the Red Sox should want to do...well, this is right on the borderline for me in terms of value, at least when looking at Chris Sale, Top Ace of the American League. There's no way to get Sale without giving up some significant value, and I think it's pretty easy to argue that the difference between Rodriguez and Sale even over just these next two-and-a-half years is not the difference between six-plus years of Andrew Benintendi. But there's something to be said for immediacy and certainty, and Sale provides that.

Or...he sort of does? Lost in the shuffle of all this is that Chris Sale just has not been his usual self this year. Very good? Yes. But not Chris Sale. His ERA is down from an unusually high 3.41 in 2015, but he's got the lowest strikeout rate of his career, and by no small margin. He enters today with a FIP of 3.69, and while that doesn't always tell the whole story or guarantee that Sale is about to start turning downward at just 27 years old, it's very much a red flag, and honestly makes me shy away from any sort of package that would realistically entice the White Sox.

But hey, because this is the trade deadline and everything is silly, I guess we might not even have anything to worry about!

Well, the madness will at least come to an end in about four hours' time.