NATIONAL HARBOR, MD. - So... about last night’s reports that the Washington Nationals were on the verge of acquiring Chicago White Sox’ lefty Chris Sale...
Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo and Co.’s rumored aggressive effort reportedly had them closer to a deal for Sale last night, but after the rumor mill started turning, things slowed down with the last news out of the Winter Meetings on Monday night that Chicago was mulling an offer of the Nationals’ top pitching prospect, Lucas Giolito, along with top outfield prospect, Victor Robles.
Then the Boston Red Sox, who had reportedly inquired about Sale’s availability this past summer, got back in the mix and according to FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal, worked out a deal that landed the left-hander:
Multiple sources have now confirmed that a deal is in place and it will send Yoan Moncada, the top infield prospect in Boston’s organization, and the top pitching prospect on Baseball America’s list of the Sox’ top prospects, Michael Kopech, to the White Sox along with two other prospects as Rosenthal notes in the tweet.
So where does that leave the Nationals?
Could they have landed Sale if they were willing to include Trea Turner, or is the package the White Sox got from the Red Sox still a better return?
They’ve know pursued Mark Melancon, who signed for more money with the San Francisco Giants, Andrew McCutchen, though they reportedly rejected the Pirates’ request for Giolito and Robles, and now they’ve missed out on Sale.
Will they feel pressure to make a big move now that they have missed out on a number of potential deals?
#Nationals have now swung big and missed on Melancon, Sale. Feel pressure for large move still— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) December 6, 2016
Rizzo was asked last night if he felt pressure to make a big splash this winter after the Nationals took the NL East crown for the third time in five years, but lost in the NLDS for the third time in five years.
“No. I do not feel urgency. I think urgency is a mistake. We’re coming off a 95-win team with a good young core of players,” Rizzo said.
What’s the next move for the Nationals? Revisit the McCutchen talks? Will they aim for another starter or was Sale a unique opportunity. Will they concentrate on adding a closer and outfield bat?
Nats tried hard, offered top prospects. But CWS obvs liked moncada and kopech. Very high ceilings.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 6, 2016