The Red Sox have indeed made the requisite phone calls to the Chicago White Sox, now that the White Sox are sending signals that they are willing to listen to offers on both Chris Sale and Jose Quintana.
But that's a long, long way from something getting done between the two teams.
Jon Heyman of Knuckleball/Fan Rag Sports Network reported Friday that the White Sox are open to offers, and the Red Sox are among a handful of teams to express interest in the two lefty starters.
An industry source confirmed that the Red Sox have reached out on Sale and Quintana, but attributed the interest to the club merely performing their "due diligence.''
The Red Sox would be foolish not to investigate if the White Sox, who had resisted earlier overtures from other clubs. But after a strong start, the White Sox find themselves in fourth place in the A.L. Central, with seven teams ahead of them in the wild card race.
Thus, they're willing to listen. But mostly, they're hoping to be overwhelmed, especially on Sale, whom they control on a highly affordable deal and series of options through the 2019 season.
It's difficult to imagine the Red Sox meeting whatever asking price the White Sox have set for one of the handful of best starting pitchers in the game.
Clearly, any such deal would require the Red Sox to part with multiple top prospects.
Having already given up Anderson Espinoza last week to land Drew Pomeranz, the Sox would have likely have to package three of their best young players.
Pitching is so sought after this summer that the return prices are staggering. The Oakland A's, for instance, insisted on Espinoza for Rich Hill, who is 35 and a free agent at the end of this season.
Assuming that the Sox don't want to give up Yoan Moncada in any deal and that the White Sox would agree to a deal without his inclusion, think: Andrew Benintendi, Michael Kopech and Rafael Devers as the kind of astronomical return the White Sox would be seeking.
And it's not as if the Red Sox are the only team positioned for a move on Sale. The Los Angeles Dodgers and Texas Rangers are playoff contenders in desperate need of an upgrade to their rotations, and with the deep inventory of prospects to make it happen.