Chris Sale pitched a fit Saturday when he learned he and the Chicago White Sox would be playing in a throwback uniform, and was sent home by the team. But nothing that happened Saturday will affect what the White Sox want in return for him -- in the end, a package of young-player promise that might come close to what the Cowboys got for Herschel Walker in 1989, in one of the most one-sided deals in sports history -- nor will it alter the fact that Sale will remain with Chicago unless it gets exactly what it wants.
Yes, Sale can be temperamental, but he is one of the best pitchers in baseball and has one of the most team-friendly contracts in the sport; he's playing for $9.15 million this year, $12 million next year, then has team options in his deal for 2018, for $12.5 million, and for $13.5 million in 2019.
The possible per-dollar reward from Sale for his employer is ridiculously high, and the risk, greatly mitigated by the team options, is incredibly low, so the White Sox are justified in expecting a huge deal in return. There are few teams who even have the capability of putting together that type of offer, and among those, some rival executives believe Boston would have the best chance -- if it wanted to consider parting with infield prospect Yoan Moncada and/or outfielder Andrew Benintendi and/or others. There's no indication yet that is the case.