What can Chris Sale bring Boston on the trade market?

Chris Sale is going to be 34 years old in three years. He is the all-time leader in strikeouts per nine appearances and the all-time leader in strikeout to walk ratio. Sale did not finish worse than fifth in the voting for the American League Cy Young Award. He has been out of the field for the majority of the last three seasons due to injuries. Tommy John surgery cost him a lot of money. Sale missed the rest of the season with a broken wrist and a broken pinky after he broke his ribs in a bicycle accident.

In Sale's limited time on the mound over the last three years, he's shown signs of returning to form, going 5-2 and holding a 3.17 ERA, but it's been very limited exposure. Sale has the potential to be one of the best pitchers in the game, and with the Red Sox seemingly going into a rebuild, they have allowed some of their best players to sign with other teams. Although the team has made up for some of those losses with the additions of Kenley Jansen, former Cy Young winner, and Japanese outfielder, it is clear the team isn't aiming to compete in the same way it did in the past. The trade market could be a good way to add impact to the club, according to the chief baseball officer. Sale could be the first name to be axed.

It would have to be a team that Sale approves of, which in all likelihood would be a contender, because Sale has a no-trade clause.

Would a contender be willing to take a chance on a young pitcher who can't stay healthy? It's probably a lot. It is easy to assume that the Sale won't have the same problems in the future. A comebacker with a broken finger? That isn't a real thing. Is a bike accident possible? Next time, he will probably wear wristguards. It reminds me of when people thought of Keenan Allen as an injury prone receiver. Allen tore hisACL the following year, but the unfortunate timing of the injuries convinced many fans that he wasn't a good player. He missed three games over the course of five years.

It's possible that sale is in a similar boat. Sale has a few good years left in him even though he is a decade older than Allen. Sale has two more years left on his contract, and if it doesn't work out, he'll be gone in two seasons.

The San Diego Padres make a lot of sense. There is no hotter iron in the NL West than the Dodgers, who have lost several key pieces this winter. They want to go all-in for a World Series and have expressed a desire to improve their rotation. Although they have reportedly been more interested in trading for/signing young arms to long-term deals, Sale is a potential short term solution to a rotation that currently contains only one lefty.

Two other teams could make a move for Sale. The Astros will be looking for a top-tier arm in order to improve their title defense. The Cards have a lot of trade chips that they could use to create their next great battery duo, like the one they just signed Willson Contreras to.

Sale has the ability to immediately make any team's rotation one of the best in the league because he is a high-end southpaw. With his no-trade clause complicating matters, the trade partners are likely to be big market competitors. The team that takes a swing on Sale will be pleasantly surprised.