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Reports: White Sox trade Chris Sale to Red Sox, not Nationals

Reports: White Sox trade Chris Sale to Red Sox, not Nationals

The Nationals missed out on a major trade target when news broke this afternoon that the White Sox had traded ace Chris Sale to the Red Sox. 

The report comes from Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. 

Washington had been the frontrunner to land Sale as recently as this morning. And as recently as 30 minutes ago, the Nationals vs. Red Sox contest seemed like it could go either way.

But apparently the Nats couldn't match Boston's offer of Yoan Moncada and Michael Kopech plus two minor leaguers, reports Jon Heyman of MLB Network. 

Now, the dream rotation of Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Sale won't happen. 

The trade for Sale was so close, it could impact other potential deals for the Nationals. The team reportedly explored trading Gio Gonzalez to the Yankees if Sale indeed ended up in Washington. 

MORE NATIONALS: Report: Nats exploring trading Gio to Yankees

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Would Scherzer, Strasburg, Sale be best rotation in MLB? Syndergaard disagrees

Would Scherzer, Strasburg, Sale be best rotation in MLB? Syndergaard disagrees

The Nationals are vigorously pursuing a trade for White Sox ace Chris Sale, according to multiple reports. And the collective baseball Internet is hyped for the prospect of a rotation including Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Chris Sale. 

MLB Network's Jon Heyman, who has been reporting on the Sale-to-Washington negotiations, thinks the move could put together the best rotation in baseball. 

Cue Mets righthander Noah Syndergaard, who was all too eager to shut that down.

But look at the numbers. Last season, Scherzer, Strasburg and Sale finished with 2.96, 3.60 and 3.34 ERAs, respectively. Scherzer led the NL with 20 wins, Sale had 17 and Strasburg had 15. As for strikeouts, Scherzer led the MLB with 284, Sale came in 5th with 233 and Strasburg ranked 21st with 183. 

It would be a spectacular group.

Thor didn't say whose rotation would be better than those three. Himself, Jacob deGrom and Matt Harvey? Close, but not quite. At least not yet. 

UPDATE 1:34 p.m.: The Nationals lost on out Sale, who was instead traded to the Red Sox. 

MORE NATIONALS: Nationals may not be willing to pony up for Harper