An Andrew McCutchen Trade Might Hinge On Chris Sale

Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

For almost a week the Pirates have appeared to be close to trading Andrew McCutchen to the Washington National. However, it may hinge on what happens with Chris Sale.

The Washington Nationals want to make a big splash at this year’s Major League Baseball Winter Meetings. They appear prepared to make a pair of major trades. The Nationals are targeting both Andrew McCutchen and Chris Sale.

All of us know all about McCutchen. As for Chris Sale, for anyone who somehow does not know, he pitches for the Chicago White Sox. Sale is arguably the best left-handed starting pitcher in the American League, and would be a huge addition to any pitching staff.

According to multiple reports, the Washington Nationals and Chicago White Sox are very close to a deal that will send Chris Sale to Chicago. The two main players in this trade appear to be outfield prospect Victor Robles and young pitcher Lucas Giolito.

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Both Robles and Giolito are players that the Pirates were tied to in Andrew McCutchen trade talks. However, the Nationals said no. That said, a Pirates and Nationals trade involving Andrew McCutchen could hinge on what happens with Chris Sale.

If the Nationals do not land Chris Sale, then they might be willing to include Victor Robles in a trade for Andrew McCutchen. And if they do land Sale, then they, most likely, become more willing to move more than one of their young pitchers.

If the Nationals add Chris Sale they then have a pitching logjam. Assuming Lucas Giolito would go to Chicago in said trade, the Nationals would still have seven starting pitchers for five spots. One would assume this would make young starting pitchers Joe Ross and Reynaldo Lopez available in a potential McCutchen trade.

Both Joe Ross and Reynaldo Lopez are pitchers the Pirates have been tied to in the past. Lopez was a name floated at the trade deadline during Mark Melancon trade talks. And this offseason, both Joe Ross and Lopez are names that have been floated in McCutchen trade talks.

Joe Ross would come with six years of team control and Reynaldo Lopez carries seven years of team control. Both are young power arms, and these two combined with Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon could give the Pirates one of the National League’s best starting rotations for a long time.

Major League Baseball’s Winter Meetings will continue until Thursday. If Andrew McCutchen is still a Pittsburgh Pirate when the meetings end, then I believe he will be in black and gold come Spring Training. And rather or not he is a Pittsburgh Pirate might hinge on what happens with Chris Sale.