This offseason has been full of talk of the Braves acquiring a good starting pitcher. Even more so, the talk of acquiring the most misused word in baseball, an ace.
The White Sox are reportedly open to dealing their starting pitchers, as they likely plan to spend the next season or two rebuilding. Obviously, with a team friendly deal in tow (Sale signed a 5 year/$32.5MM deal with two team options just over 9 months ago), a pitcher of Sale’s caliber would take a bit more that David Price, who has just two very expensive arbitration years left before free agency.
While the Braves farm isn’t the gold mine it used to be(they’ve promoted countless players over the past 3 years), they do still possess a plethora of quality starting pitching prospects. Some fans might have Mark Teixeira flashbacks, but at 6 years just over $55MM for a top 10 pitcher, this is the kind of deal you sell the farm on. With Jason Heyward and Justin Upton set to become free agents after the 2015 season, the Braves have to be in win-now mode, and a deal for Sale would certainly be on line with that thinking.
In my mind, these talks would have to include two of our young arms. There have also been reports in the White Sox looking for a third baseman and catcher, recently inquiring on Chase Headley and bidding on Juan Uribe. Not sure how much they would be interested in Evan Gattis, but I’d guess Christian Bethancourt is off the table after letting Brian McCann walk. The Braves aren’t likely to fill immediate holes for the club, but could give them quality, affordable high upside arms for their post rebuilding teams.
While it might be a longshot, it is not impossible and may be the only sensible means for the Braves to acquire an “ace” this offseason.