Chris Sale has not been traded, but he was scratched from his scheduled start Saturday due to a "clubhouse incident."
White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said in a statement about 25 minutes before the scheduled start of Saturday's game against the Detroit Tigers that Sale was sent home from the park after a "non-physical" incident that is being investigated by the team.
Here's Hahn's statement in full:
“Chris Sale has been scratched from tonight’s scheduled start and sent home from the ballpark by the White Sox due to a clubhouse incident before the game. The incident, which was non-physical in nature, currently is under further investigation by the club.
“The White Sox will have no additional comment until the investigation is completed.”
Multiple reports, which CSNChicago.com's Dan Hayes confirmed, have the incident stemming from Sale not wanting to wear a 1976 throwback jersey for Saturday's game. The White Sox announced in March they would wear those uniforms on July 23, instead, the White Sox wore their 1983-style uniforms for Saturday's game.
White Sox will wear navy collared throwback jerseys from 1976 on July 23. Won't wear the shorts. pic.twitter.com/ZKfsLjzzgU— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) March 3, 2016
Can confirm. Heard that nothing about today has anything to do with Chris Sale trade talks. https://t.co/MreMAzI1Tv— Dan Hayes (@DanHayesMLB) July 24, 2016
Not a joke: Source says Sale blowup was because he didn't want to wear throwbacks, so he cut the jerseys up so no one could wear them.— Tommy Stokke (@StokkeTommy) July 23, 2016
Source: "A little larger than that but essentially true." https://t.co/LBYkZRECvx— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 24, 2016
Yup, it's true. Chris Sale got sent home by White Sox for cutting up a jersey he didn't want to wear. Source confirms @StokkeTommy report.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 24, 2016
Matt Albers instead started for the White Sox on Saturday.
CSN Chicago's Chuck Garfien reported the incident started over something "stupid," while ESPN's Jerry Crasnick reported the incident wasn't with any of Sale's teammates.
I'm hearing the Chris Sale incident was over something "stupid." Might have been a joke about getting traded and he flipped out.— Chuck Garfien (@ChuckGarfien) July 23, 2016
The Chris Sale incident with #whitesox was with front/office staff, source says. No problems with any teammates.— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) July 23, 2016
The news of Sale’s scratching set Twitter ablaze with questions about if this year’s American League All-Star starting pitcher was on the move. On Friday, rumors circulated that the Texas Rangers were pushing to acquire Sale, but the White Sox reportedly were asking for a hefty return.
On Saturday, the Dallas Morning News’ Evan Grant reported the Rangers had moved on from talks with the White Sox and were focusing on acquiring a starting pitcher from the Tampa Bay Rays.
[SHOP: Buy a Chris Sale jersey]
MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reported Saturday the cost to acquire Sale would be “five top prospects.”
Earlier this week, general manager Rick Hahn said the White Sox were open to anything (except acquiring a second-half rental) but added that it might be “extreme” to undergo a full rebuild with Sale and fellow All-Star left-hander Jose Quintana under team control through 2019 and 2020, respectively.
“We certainly have desirable players that people would want to help them win a championship,” Hahn said Thursday.” But at the same time, we’re aware of the fact that we have a lot of high-quality talent under control for years beyond 2016.”