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Chris Sale reflects on 2016 trade deadline

Rob Bradford
July 27, 2018 - 10:07 am

Did Chris Sale believe he was going to be traded to the Red Sox five months before he actually was?

"Nope," the ace said. "I didn’t think I was going to get traded in 2016, in general. The years before that I did just because I didn’t know."

Going back to that 2016 non-waiver trade deadline, Sale might have been a bit naive. He was absolutely in the crosshairs of contending teams, including the Red Sox.

The White Sox were understandably asking for a boatload for Sale, who still had more than three years of control left on his team-friendly contract. From the Red Sox, they were not only trying to pry away top prospects Michael Kopech and Yoan Moncada (both ultimately going to Chicago in the teams' trade a few months later) but also Rafael Devers.

Interestingly enough, there was one chief reason Sale didn't believe a deal would get done, and it had nothing to do with Chicago asking for too much. He believed his uniform-cutting blow-up in spring training that year might make teams shy away.

"For whatever reason, I just kind of knew I was going to be there for the rest of the year," Sale said. "The whole fiasco in ’16 with the jerseys, when that stuff happened … I remember when I got scratched from that start people were like, ‘He’s going to get traded.’ It probably didn’t help my stock at the time."

Even in the days when Sale was ultimately traded in early December, he wasn't convinced the White Sox were ready to move on.

"I asked my agent if I thought I was going to get traded and he said, ‘You could, maybe. But maybe not’," he remembered. "The only thing I will say is that I’m glad I got traded in the offseason. At least I had a couple of months in the offseason and spring training to get used to the team dynamic."

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