SCOTTSDALE, Arizona -- One of the White Sox’ best potential suitors for Chris Sale has had a change of priorities.
Well, at least that’s how Boston Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski painted the picture on Monday evening at the GM meetings. Speaking to a large group of reporters, Dombrowski listed Boston’s top offseason needs as a setup man and a designated hitter in the wake of the expected retirement of David Ortiz.
While Dombrowski wouldn’t rule out a potential trade for a starting pitcher, he said he’s satisfied with the team’s current rotation, which includes American League Cy Young finalist Rick Porcello and past Cy David Price. Coming off an eighth straight season without reaching the playoffs, the White Sox haven’t publicly said they’d trade Sale. But it’s believed that were Sale available that the Red Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers and Texas Rangers are the teams best equipped to trade for the ace left-hander.
“I feel pretty good about our starting pitching,” Dombrowski said. “Right now we have six starters.
“Could we? Sure. Is it one our top priorities? I would say no.”
[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]
Boston not only has Porcello, a 22-game winner, but last offseason signed Price to a seven-year deal for $217 million. Steven Wright won 13 games last season and earned an All-Star nod and the Red Sox acquired Drew Pomeranz from the San Diego Padres last July. The Red Sox potential rotation also includes youngster Eduardo Rodriguez and last week they picked up a $13.5 million club option on Clay Buchholz, who finished strong with a 3.17 ERA over his final 48 1/3 innings.
Still, there’s a belief Boston would be willing to add another top-notch starter if an affordable option exists after it was swept out of the playoffs in the AL Division Series by Cleveland. Porcello, Price and Buchholz combined to allow 12 earned runs in 11 2/3 innings in the series (9.26 ERA).
The potential for a Sale trade (or Jose Quintana) of course all hinges upon what direction the White Sox decide to head. The team wrapped up its organizational meetings in Phoenix earlier Monday.
General manager Rick Hahn wasn't available to reporters Monday.
But several signs over the past few months have pointed toward the White Sox deciding to rebuild. Back in July, Hahn said the White Sox were “mired in mediocrity” en route to their fourth straight losing season. He also noted the club would face tough decisions and since parted ways with Robin Ventura after five seasons.
Last month, Hahn didn’t go into detail on the club’s direction on the day it named Rick Renteria its new manager. However, he thought the first few significant offseason moves would signal which way the White Sox are headed.
“Certainly with our first major transaction and the ones that follow behind, that will make it clear about which direction we intend to go,” Hahn said in October.