NATIONAL HARBOR, MD: Just when you thought it was safe to tune out of the Winter Meetings chatter for the night, FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal sent out the following message via Twitter that has the Gaylord Resort and Convention Center abuzz:
The Nationals and White Sox have reportedly been going back and forth for some time now, with increased focus on working out a trade for Chris Sale as the Winter Meetings began.
Jon Heyman quickly joined in on the chatter:
Nats don't think they have prospects to get both sale and McCutchen. But as said earlier, they seem focused on sale now.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 6, 2016
Nats are making strong progress on Sale. Been working on it all day. They have clear lead.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 6, 2016
Nationals source on Sale; "We've got a real shot."— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 6, 2016
They’re not the only ones who are hearing things, though, as you’ll see in the last tweet included here, USA TODAY’s Bob Nightengale says not to expect a deal to go down tonight:
An exec from another team that has pursued Sale believes it is 80/20 that deal gets done that sends LH ace to #Nationals— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) December 6, 2016
Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo addressed the rumors of ongoing talks when he spoke to reporters this afternoon outside the Nats’ suite at the Winter Meetings, talking in general terms about whether or not he thought there was a possibility of working something out for Sale or the Pirates’ Andrew McCutchen.
“If the deal is right, we’ve shown in the past that we’re not afraid to pull the trigger and make a deal,” Rizzo said.
“But the deal has to be right. We’re all about win/win deals, so if we get what we want and we give away what we feel is a fair deal for a player, we’ll make a deal. If we don’t, we won’t make one.”
Will the Nationals and White Sox be able to reach an agreement that will bring the 27-year-old left-hander to D.C. What will the Nationals have to give up in the end if a deal goes down?
Are they really going to part ways with both Victor Robles and Lucas Giolito in return for two years of control of Sale?
It would give them a dominant rotation with Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Chris Sale and whoever ends up filling out the back end.