Chris Sale, the Chicago White Sox ace who delivered some harsh words for team president Kenny Williams regarding the widely reported Adam LaRoche retirement, will not be traded, general manager Rick Hahn told a Chicago reporter.
Under affordable control through 2019 with a contract that will pay him $9.1 million this year, $12 million in 2017 and $12.5 million and $13.5 million options the following two seasons, the soon-to-be 27-year-old Sale is considered one of the best starting pitchers in baseball. The four-time All-Star was 13-11 with a 3.41 ERA, a 1.08 WHIP and 11.8 strikeouts per nine innings over 31 starts and 208.2 innings for a White Sox club that finished 76-86 in 2015.
Sale is projected to anchor a rotation that also includes fellow left-handers Jose Quintana, Carlos Rodon and John Danks; and right-hander Mat Latos. The White Sox believe they can contend with that rotation along with a lineup that features newcomers Todd Frazier, Austin Jackson, Jimmy Rollins, Alex Avila and Brett Lawrie, and returnees Jose Abreu, Adam Eaton, Avisail Garcia and Melky Cabrera.
Jackson’s signing coupled with LaRoche’s retirement will likely lead to Cabrera and Garcia sharing time at DH.