NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- The teams involved seem to be changing daily, but there's little question that serious interest exists around Major League Baseball in acquiring White Sox ace Chris Sale at the 2016 Winter Meetings.
That interest dates back to the start of the offseason and in many cases back to the 2016 non-waiver Trade Deadline. But the biggest questions seem to be: How much of a premium will those interested teams pay for a five-time All-Star, and will the White Sox come down from their lofty asking price to move one of the game's top starters with three years and $38 million of control?
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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reported that the Nationals are stepping up interest in Sale, with the Astros, Braves and Red Sox also involved. If the White Sox were to rebuild, a direction in which they appear to be moving, then Sale serves as the biggest trade chip among the group of veterans. But as examples of White Sox targets, the Astros would be asked to give up a player such as Alex Bregman, or the Nats probably would have to move Trea Turner.
White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf, in an interview with CSN Chicago on Monday, mentioned what it would require to pry loose Sale and the reason for a high asking price.
"You have to have four prospects who can't possibly miss to get one," Reinsdorf said. "I've seen so many players over the years who were going to be phenoms, they were going to be future Hall of Famers, and we don't even remember what their names are anymore.
"That's why when you are trading a player of stature, you've got to get multiple can't-miss prospects back. That's why it makes it tough to trade a player of great stature."
Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.