Major League Baseball has officially begun its descent into winter in the early portions of the offseason. But the hot stove is growing warmer with some big names popping up in the trade market. 

Teams will be keen on addressing their respective needs as early as possible when the pickings are more abundant, so expect the transactions to continue rolling in before the new year. 

Here is the latest on some of the most notable names on the trade market. 


Chris Sale

Chicago White Sox ace Chris Sale’s falling out with the team after the release of Adam LaRoche and the jersey-cutting incident has put him on the trade market even though club options could keep him signed until 2019, according to Spotrac.  

For a White Sox team that looks to be in full rebuild mode, Sale’s name has continued to come up, according to ESPN’s Buster Olney:

The White Sox have started the process of a massive sell-off, with other teams increasingly convinced they will deal Chris Sale. ‘And once you trade him,” said [an] evaluator, ‘why would you stop there?’ They’ve told teams they’re willing to deal any player who has fewer than four years of team control.’

Sale has been one of the elite pitchers in the American League over the past five seasons, making the All-Star Game every year. In that span, he’s led the majors in complete games (four in 2013 and six in 2016) and strikeouts per nine innings twice (10.8 in 2014 and 11.8 in 2015), total strikeouts once (274 in 2015) and ERA+ (173 in 2014) once. 

It’s made him one of the most coveted arms on the market, but the White Sox seem to be asking for a pretty penny in return for him, according to Anthony McCarron of the New York Daily News: “It’s unclear whether any team will meet the Pale Hose’s current asking price for Sale, which is steep, [a] major league source said.”

Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan speculated that the Los Angeles Dodgers would be “a perfect trade partner” for Chicago, citing their deep prospect pool that includes second baseman Willie Calhoun, pitcher Jose De Leon and outfielders Cody Bellinger and Alex Verdugo. 


Chris Archer

Tampa Bay Rays starter Chris Archer is coming off his worst season in the majors, leading the league with 19 losses. However, he didn’t get much help from his offense, as his 3.48 runs of support was ranked 70th among all qualifying pitchers. 

Regardless, the Rays could be looking to ship him out of town, according to Olney: “Rival executives expect the Rays to trade Drew Smyly or Chris Archer, as well as closer Alex Colome, who had 37 saves last season.”

While he’s considered the ace of the Rays staff, Archer has put together just one winning season, going 9-7 in 2013. 

From 2013 to 2015, he garnered an All-Star appearance while posting three seasons with an ERA of 3.33 or lower. But a bad Rays team hasn’t done much to help his stat sheet. 

Olney revealed that the Atlanta Braves are speaking with the Rays about available pitching, but that offense might not provide much more support for Archer. 

Last season, Atlanta scored just 4.03 runs per game, ranking third-worst in the majors. The Rays could score some young talent in return for Archer, but he wouldn’t end up in a much better setting.


Michael Wacha

After going 17-7 with an All-Star appearance in 2015, St. Louis Cardinals starter Michael Wacha came crashing down to earth in 2016. He finished with a 7-7 record alongside a 5.09 ERA while dealing with shoulder issues. 

According to Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, the Cardinals have “floated” his name in trade conversations but are not likely to get any bites. 

Due to the shoulder problems, Wacha has been unable to become a consistent contributor within the Cardinals rotation. 

He’s never hit the 200-inning mark in his four years in the league, which presents a red flag for any interested suitor. 

But the Cardinals might be trying to sell him while they can get something in return instead of going through three years of arbitration and running the risk of another bad year or injuries.


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