White Sox: Would Chris Sale for Alex Bregman Swap Make Sense?
White Sox have advantage in trade talks with one of the better pitchers in MLB on its team. Could a trade involving All-Star pitcher and Astros young third baseman work?
If the Chicago White Sox are in fact to deal ace Chris Sale to the Houston Astros, would it make sense to center the deal around 3B Alex Bregman? Considering that in doing so, the Sox would acquire one of the most talented bats in the minors, but should they aim higher?
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While Bregman’s ceiling might be Dustin Pedroia, should the Sox negotiate a deal with the Dodgers, and demand Julio Urias? With Urias the Sox might be getting the next Fernando Valenzuela, however pitchers come with a greater risk: injury. Due to the strain on their shoulder and elbow, should they tear one they may never be the same.
Here is the main issue question involved in any deal surrounding Sale or any other player: what would the opposing team give up? Urias would be difficult to acquire for a couple of reasons. First, teams do not give up elite, controllable young pitching easily. Second, heritage is involved in this situation. Urias is of Latin American descent, and Southern California has a high percentage of Latin American residents.
Now, let’s shift the focus back to Bregman. While he may never become an elite power hitter, the rest of his game is very solid. Even though Bregman won’t necessarily be among the league leaders in home runs, it doesn’t mean he lacks gap power. With plus bat speed, he will hit line drives not to mention rack up the doubles.
Considering this won’t be a one-for-one trade, who else would make sense as a piece to come along with Bregman? A.J. Reed would be an easy choice, just due to the power he possesses. He could help fill the designated hitter role over the long term, not to mention play some first base.
Another area Reed could help improve would be plate discipline. The Sox have struggled in that regard over the last few seasons, and by looking at their roster, many have horrible BB/K rates. Even though Reed has yet to do so at the MLB level, it would make sense to bring in a left-handed hitting power hitter who knows how to hit.
Both spend a very short time in the minors, and dominated. Reed was drafted in 2014, and went deep 61 times in only 1,033 at bats. After being drafted second overall in 2015, Bregman only spent 146 games in the minors, hitting an even .300 before being called up to the Astros. Every part of Bregman’s game was on display, as he was a 20/20 man, homering 24 times and swiping 20 bags.
Overall, bringing over two building blocks is critical if the Sox do indeed elect to move Sale. However, it is going to be nearly impossible to acquire a top five prospect in of all of baseball. Therefore, the Dodgers deal may not make sense if you are the Sox, due to the fact the Sox will want more than just Urias. That is going to be next to impossible, and while others are very attractive in the Dodgers system, the deal loses some sizzle minus Urias.
So, is Bregman the answer for the Sox in a Chris Sale trade? While he has only played third base so far, it is likely that he could play elsewhere around the infield. Will they add an elite infielder to the roster, or try to bring back an future ace in return. Time will tell, but the clock very well may be ticking for Sale on the South Side. Expect bittersweet feelings if he is dealt, Sox fans.
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