Rangers making effort to acquire lefty Sale

No indication deal will come to fruition; White Sox will likely require Profar, Gallo

July 22nd, 2016

KANSAS CITY -- The Rangers are making a serious run at landing ace left-hander in a trade with the White Sox, according to Major League sources, but there are no indications yet if a deal can get done.

The White Sox have fallen off the pace in the American League Central with a 2-8 run over their last 10 games, but there is still serious questions about whether they would be willing to move Sale. He is just 27 years old and signed through 2017 with two reasonable club options at $12.5 million for 2018 and $13.5 million for '19. Sale just started the All-Star Game for the American League.

"We're mired in mediocrity," White Sox general manager Rick Hahn told reporters on Thursday. "That's not the goal. That's not acceptable. That's not what we're trying to accomplish for the long-term. We may well have to adjust and take a longer-term view and take a different approach going forward."

The White Sox may go into a rebuilding mode, but Sale is pretty substantial piece to rebuild around rather than trade.

"We've got to stay open-minded," Hahn said. "We're not where we want to be. We've spent a fair amount of time focusing on the [current season] for the last few years, and it hasn't paid off as handsomely as we hoped."

Texas GM Jon Daniels said the club's primary focus is pitching, but he declined to discuss specifics on Friday. One source said the Rangers -- because of their strong farm system -- have as good of a chance as anybody to land Sale.

"I don't want to evaluate the market," Daniels said. "It's no different than any other year. We are having conversations to see if we line up. I can't handicap it."

The White Sox, as are most potential trading partners, are primarily interested in Rangers infielder and Triple-A third baseman , the club's No. 1 prospect, according to MLBPipeline.com. Profar is playing regularly for the Rangers with sidelined by a herniated disk in his neck.

The Rangers are also not enamored with the idea of trading Gallo, not with Fielder looking at another neck surgery, on the disabled list for the third time this season and first baseman a free agent after this season. But nobody is considered untouchable.

"I don't know of a player in the game who is," Daniels said. "There are a lot of players we're not looking to move and a lot of players other clubs are not looking to move. In the right scenario, anything can happen. We know how we value certain guys. If something lines up, we'll move."

The Rangers are focused on pitching as the non-waiver Trade Deadline approaches and haven't been too excited with the pitching available. But Sale is an AL Cy Young Award candidate and could have the same impact as did last season and Cliff Lee did in 2010.

The Rangers have talked to any team with pitching available. They have been linked with the Rays concerning right-hander and left-hander , but those discussions haven't been fruitful and may get put on hold until the Rangers know if the White Sox are dealing Sale.

Texas is without right-hander and left-hander , both of whom are on the 60-day disabled list and ineligible to return until late August. is the club's fifth starter and is scheduled to pitch on Monday against the Athletics.

"We'll continue to evaluate that as we go forward," manager Jeff Banister said. "We're looking at all options. At this point, Kyle Lohse is the pitcher of record in that slot. We'll see what our best option is."

The Rangers entered Friday 36-14 when they get an official "quality start" from their rotation. They have had just two in the last 18 games.

"That's our No. 1 ingredient for success," Banister said. "Quality starting rotation and quality starts."

Worth noting

• Texas may move left-hander up to Monday and push Lohse back to Tuesday. The Rangers like the idea of Perez pitching between and Lohse.

• Fielder was scheduled get a second opinion on his neck from Dr. Drew Dossett in Dallas on Friday, but that has been postponed until Monday. Fielder is expected to decide after that exam if he needs season-ending surgery.

• Holland has joined the Rangers in Kansas City and is expected to throw his first bullpen session on Saturday since being placed on the disabled list on June 21.