The question here isn't whether or not you think the Sox will trade their ace starting pitcher Chris Sale; rather, it has to do with what you would do—you, the White Sox fan—recognizing that while they could seemingly get "a king's ransom" for Sale, he is a young, cost-controlled stud and guys like that don't grow on trees.
To this I say, yes, trade him and Jose Quintana too, while you set up what would amount to as a briefer version of what Theo Epstein and the Cubs did to rebuild the team from scratch. Having spent my whole life on the south side of Chicago and the surrounding 'burbs, I believe Sox fans deserve more credit than the Sox front office is giving them.
Sure, Sox fans won't come out to watch losing teams, but if the front office was honest with them and said we're going to rebuild and that while the team will be painful to watch over the next 2-3 years, trading guys like Sale and Quintana will give the Sox a head start that the Cubs didn't have, so the rebuild will be a bit shorter.
Look, what would you rather do as a Sox fan—watch a middling .500 team win the division once every 5-6 years or rebuild, crawl through the wreckage of a couple 100-loss seasons, then come back with a team that consistently wins with a group of its own, homegrown players? I would choose the latter, and I think it's a disservice to the baseball intelligence of the Sox fan to assume otherwise.
Even watching a losing team is a bit easier when you know the plan and while watching draft picks come up. There is something imminently likable about a homegrown guy on the diamond. Even if the Cubs were to not make the playoffs this season, as a Cubs fan, it's a hell of a lot of fun watching good kids like Rizzo and Bryant.
Even hardened Sox fans have to admit this is a likable group of guys on this current Cubs team. In fact, I would venture to guess that Sox fans would love to see their own version of homegrown talent all over the diamond. Sure, by trading Sale and Quintana, they'd be doing just the opposite —getting rid of homegrown talent.
Still, they could get two or three top 10 prospects from a team that acquires Sale, including at least one who is major league ready. And Quintana could net a couple of nice prospects as well. You combine that windfall with a couple years of top draft picks, with some solid trades, and there you go Sox fans: a team built to win not only now but for years to come.
And all it cost you was one of the best young pitchers to come around in a long time. Hey, I didn't say it wouldn't be tough. But it would pay off in the long run. And at least the Sox would have a plan, instead of this rudderless ship they're sailing on the south side of town.
I know Jerry would never go for it, he's too old to sit through three years of ugly baseball. But what a legacy he would be leaving for the fans.
What do you think, Sox fans?